Fire Communications Update

14 February 2020


Fire Communications Officer Recruit Program

As you would be aware, QFES is currently reviewing the Fire Communications Officer Recruit Program, and a recruit course is scheduled to commence on 24 February 2020. 

I wish to make it clear to all members that the UFUQ do not support the recruit course commencing on this date.

The program review has been poorly resourced from the outset, it has failed to get the necessary consultation with subject matter experts (you) right and it has been rushed. 

Despite the UFUQ’s attempts to get it back on track, it is still far from adequate and it is uncertain if the recruit course will provide the standard of recruit you all desperately need. 

I do not provide you with this advice without reason.

As I understand (based on an update from QFES received on Monday 10 February 2020), despite being just over a week from the scheduled recruit course commencement date, e- learning packages are still being completed (with at least 10 packages only about 75% completed), no communications have occurred with Regional DRDs (who we are told will have oversight of the regional components of the recruit training), session plans are still being finalised and the course is still being validated. This should not be how a professional organisation conducts workforce planning and recruit training, but with QFES’ track record it is not surprising.

QFES have also proceeded with developing the program based on a model that doesn’t comply with clause 15.3(b) of the Award and have failed to enter into any discussions with the UFUQ regarding this matter despite several QFES representatives being told by the UFUQ since August 2019 that the program does not comply with the Award.

In the circumstances, the UFUQ cannot support a recruit program that does not comply with your industrial instruments, and if QFES proceed with their current plans they will contravene a term of the Award (with the potential for immediate disputation at the QIRC as a result). This is a serious matter and not one the UFUQ takes lightly. Given the financial implications it may have for QFES, were we to dispute the matter, it should not be one QFES takes lightly either. 

We also hold many concerns regarding the regional components of the recruit program and the potential for inconsistent learner experiences, particularly in the regions. 

QFES have not shown you the respect you deserve.

The UFUQ will continue to do all we can to ensure the Fire Communications Officer Recruit Program is the best it can be, and I will keep you informed of any progress.

John Oliver - General Secretary

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