CODE 2, VOL 32, NO 3 : 15 february 2018

Governor General confirms increase in professional firefighter and fire communication officer FTE

You will recall that I reported to you that the newly returned ALP state government had reconfirmed the election commitments around an increase to FTE for firefighters and fire communication officers.

Since informing you of this, Mr Craig Crawford, Minister for Fire and Emergency Services has written to your union, confirming the increases.

In state parliament on 14 February 2018, the Governor General, in his opening speech to the new parliament, again confirmed the increases.

There has been some discussion amongst members around the increase.  Also, we have heard reports about your middle management making statements about how this will work, and where the new placements will go.  Let me make this clear, these discussions and statements are speculation, most of it ill-informed. 

To help clear the air, I provide this update to confirm the numbers and to clear up any confusion.

The state government has funded an ‘additional’ 100 firefighters and an ‘additional’ 12 fire communication officers across four years, commencing in the financial year 2018-2019.

To make it as clear as I can, I say that these numbers are on top of, and an increase to, any recruitment to cover attrition.  They are extra FTE full-time professional firefighter and full-time fire communication officer numbers.

Importantly, the state government also desires that these people are both recruited from, and placed in, regional Queensland.  Your union will work with the government, and QFES on the increases and how they are to be managed.

An important part of getting that process up and running and working has commenced.  Your state office has started a process of requiring QFES to consult with us on how to get recruitment working in a satisfactory way to give you and your colleagues the confidence that not only the general recruiting, but importantly the additional recruiting required will be under improved methodologies. 

Your union considers the process of attraction, selection and recruitment of new firefighters and fire communication officers to be poorly managed by the current public servants managing the ‘talent pipeline’, and we intend to do something about it as soon as possible.  This repair work must occur before the increased numbers are selected, recruited and brought into the recruit school.

I will keep you updated on our work to fix recruitment and on our discussions with both the Minister, and QFES, on how the extra 100 and 12 FTE placements will occur.

State UFUQ Elections

The Union is in the process of organising the triennial elections for the State and Branch Committee of management positions. There will only be one election for these positions as per previous elections in 2012 and 2015. The union will contact QIRC for an exemption from a second election as the positions will have already been filled.

The members of the UFU will not be detrimentally affected as members will have already voted, or been given the opportunity to vote, in the election of the Federal Counterpart Body.

As stated this process was also adopted in the 2012 and 2015 elections.

 

John Oliver – State/Branch Secretary

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