CODE 2, VOL 31, NO 12 : 07 april 2017
I am pleased to report that the new workplace agreement to cover your employment has now reached the stage where you will be able to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to adopt the offer from QFES.
Here is some detail on the process.
Log of claims:
Your union spent over six months consulting with members on the makeup of our log of claims. The eventual 20 claims we put to Fire and Rescue were whittled down from approximately 180 put by members and branches across the state.
Of those 20, I have reported in previous Code 2’s that your union has successfully negotiated agreement from QFES on 15 of our claims commencing in the 2016 agreement, with seven of those benefitting all UFUQ members covered by the agreement, and then a further three specifically benefitting fire communication officers and five specifically benefitting firefighters.
QFES obtained three new clauses, relating to health and wellbeing, station officer professional development and FFF and RAAP payments.
Further work was also done to draw all old clauses from previous agreements together that were still relevant and add them into the 2016 agreement. All old agreements will be terminated at the commencement of the new agreement.
Content to support new entitlements:
More work is still to be done developing documentation and procedures relating to some of the new entitlements in the agreement. That work has either commenced or is about to commence in the next few weeks.
From midnight Friday 7 April 2017 until midnight Wednesday 19 April 2017 you will have the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ to accept the offer within the new agreement, or ‘no’ to reject the current offer.
A ‘no’ vote will require that the whole process be wound back to the start, meaning all back pay on the current offer will be lost and the complete negotiation will have to restart, including going back to the state government to re-obtain the funding we sought for this current offer.
I can assure you that this current offer was the best possible negotiated outcome for you and your colleagues in the current political and industrial climate and the positives within the offer cannot be ignored.
UFUQ recommends that you VOTE ‘YES’:
On behalf of your union executive and SCM, I encourage you to vote ‘yes’ to accept the offer, ensuring your back pay to 1 October 2016, and giving you access to the many benefits maintained along with many more new positive outcomes for you and your colleagues, which I am sure you have had the opportunity to determine for yourself.
How to vote:
To vote you will need to access an email regarding voting that will be sent to your work email address by QFES.
The email will include instructions on voting and a link to the webpage of a private company that specialises in handling voting of all types.
That company will keep your information confidential and I assure you QFES do not obtain any details on your vote.
The only thing reported to QFES and your union is the total number of votes, and the total ‘yes’ and ‘no’ votes. That report back on the outcome of the ballot is scheduled for Thursday 20 April 2017.
I encourage you to access the email and go through the process of voting, and as I said, I encourage you to vote ‘yes’ to have this agreement sent by QFES to QIRC for certification.
QIRC certification and commencement:
Soon after the result is declared, if the ‘yes’ vote is successful, QFES will make an application to the QIRC to have a hearing to have the agreement certified. That should only take a few weeks at most, and I hope that we will all be working under the new Certified Agreement 2016 by the middle of the year, if not much earlier.
I will keep you updated during the voting period and I look forward to celebrating a successful ‘yes’ vote with you, to reaching commencement date as soon as possible and to ensuring you obtain your existing and new entitlements that apply to you as and from when they commence!
Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD