CA19 UPDATE 4 - Communication officers
21 May 2019
I am pleased to report that finally, all the claims from all parties have been discussed, with questions asked and much discussion held to ensure everyone involved understands the content of all claims.
I am also pleased to report that for the claims affecting you and your colleagues, Fire and Rescue claims appear to have less teeth in them than many of you originally thought.
There is no attempt by QFES in any claim to remove or reduce any entitlement you currently receive. However, I must acknowledge that in negotiations to achieve new entitlements as put on your behalf, there can be some shifting of existing entitlements, as long as the outcome is agreed and you are better off.
Over the next two weeks, your state office negotiating team will organise to meet with or hold phone hook ups with many of those of you who have put your hand up to help out.
Once negotiations move into June 2019, there will be a need for your subject matter knowledge to factor into the discussion for June and July. All parties remain committed to an in principle agreement by 31 July 2019 (thus preserving any backpay of new wages to 1 July).
All parties have agreed to a three year agreement, which will nominally run from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2022. We have also agreed that there is much that can be tidied up, rewritten to make clauses clearer, and that the Award needs to be tidied up. That work is now occurring concurrently with the CA19 negotiations.
It is hoped that the Award update can occur by consent application to the QIRC before the application for certification of CA19, allowing both to be as up to date and accurate as possible. Your state office industrial team are therefore working with Fire and Rescue and QFES to identify clauses of the Award we agree need to be rewritten. This is not an attempt to make new claims for improvement in Award conditions, rather, it is addressing the opportunity to ensure the Award is written to suit actual working conditions (this opportunity was missed in the Award Modernisation process that occurred in 2016).
There is a significant amount of work being undertaken by your state office over the next few months with the expected outcomes being both an updated Award and a new Certified Agreement combining to cover your terms and conditions of employment.
John Oliver - General Secretary
Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD