CODE 2, VOL 32, NO 16 : 09 may 2018

Paid travel time

You will recall that your CA includes a new entitlement for paid travel time at clause 56 and 85, for the time spent travelling to attend mandatory and promotion related training.

This entitlement will be back paid from 1 January 2018.

The UFUQ presented a draft state-wide travel time policy to the QFES in 2017, and the negotiation process took around three months. The final authorised policy has today been released by the QFES Chief Strategy Officer Doug Smith.

In January, I encouraged all members to keep records of the time they spend travelling to and from mandatory and promotion related training.

You should now check that this travel falls within the following definitions, and calculate your entitlement as set out below.


Mandatory training: training required to attain or maintain skills and/or qualifications associated with any role, stream or specialisation.

Promotion related training: all approved training that is associated with a staff member’s professional development or attempted progression within QFES ranks.


Employees are entitled to be paid at the rate of single time for the “excess” time they spend travelling to mandatory or promotion related training, outside of their work hours.

Travel time is calculated to the nearest quarter of an hour, based on:

1. The period of time which would reasonably have been taken by the most practicable direct route, using the approved means of travel, or
2. In the case of an unavoidable delay during the journey, the time actually involved.

“Excess time:” means the total time spent travelling, minus the time it normally takes to travel between your residence and your usual workplace.

Note: Trainers and instructors are also eligible to claim this entitlement.

The QFES are yet to provide us with their organised process for facilitating claims for back paid travel time. I would encourage you to contact your regional payroll or HR officer for advice in the first instance.

Fire Communications Officers – performance of overtime while on annual leave

As you are aware, in the life of the current certified agreement, and in accordance with the requirements of clause 72(g), the UFUQ will commence discussions with QFES relating to the methodology for debiting Fire Communications Officer annual leave.

However, prior to these discussions commencing your union seeks to address the matter of the performance of overtime while on annual leave with QFES. The resolution of this matter may have a significant bearing on the capacity for your union to discuss how annual leave will operate into the future. It is therefore important that it is dealt with in the first instance.

Earlier this year QFES wrote to the UFUQ expressing the view that a period of annual leave was inclusive of the four scheduled days off in a tour, and that overtime could not be performed on these four ‘off’ days (in addition to the four ‘on’ days in the tour that the annual leave applies to).

I can report to you that the UFUQ holds an alternative view and that I have recently written to QFES to advise them of this.

I will report to you further on this matter when I have received a response from QFES.

Fire Communications Officers – paypoint progression

Recently, QFES wrote to your union seeking advice on our position regarding paypoint progression for Fire Communication Officers. Specifically, they sought our view on whether overtime hours ought to contribute to the hours count for paypoint progression. 

In response, the UFUQ informed QFES that we currently have no formal position on the matter and that we will contact them further when we have developed an agreed position in consultation with members.

Considering the potential implications a formal UFUQ position may have on the paypoint progression of all members, we intend to conduct a survey asking for your feedback, views and suggestions on the matter to assist in developing the agreed majority position.

We intend for this process to commence by the end of this month.

I will report to you further on this matter when the survey arrangements have been made.



John Oliver - General Secretary

Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary 
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD