CODE 2, VOL 34, NO 23 : 25 may 2020
Application of the motor vehicle allowance directive
The Queensland Government’s Motor Vehicle allowance directive contains an entitlement for mileage payments where a firefighter or station officer is required to work away from their normal station to relieve or perform “special duties”. This directive has long applied to members through clause 13.3 of your Award.
The UFUQ has always held the view that QFRS should be reimbursing all members who are required to travel in their own car to relieve or perform "special duties", for the excess kilometres they travel, but QFRS has been applying these entitlements inconsistently across the regions.
We have been trying to resolve this with QFRS all year, but they have been reluctant to meaningfully engage with us.
On 7 May 2020, the UFUQ lodged a dispute with the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, and we will attend a conference tomorrow before Commissioner Pidgeon.
We will keep you updated as the matter progresses.
QFRS commence consultation with UFUQ on new RPL process
For some years, individual members have faced barriers to movement between classifications. Some individuals have been frustrated by the lack of process for demonstrating ability.
Therefore after many years of frustrating discussions between your union and QFRS, in May 2020, SFEST asked us to consult with them on a new ‘recognition of prior learning’ (RPL) process for firefighters and fire communication officers.
The state office has commenced those consultative discussions.
Your union will ensure that any final RPL outcomes reflect current adult learning requirements, whilst also acknowledging the need for quite specialist knowledge with both the firefighter and fire communication streams of employment in Queensland.
That means that assessing someone as competent at any classification will require sound evaluation of the QFRS knowledge required to work with you and your colleagues.
The RPL process will initially relate only to internal (existing QFRS employees) assessments, but your union is also looking to review the external (lateral entry) RPL processes QFRS may use in the future.
Any new RPL will not be a fix-all for these and other wide-ranging classification structure problems QFRS currently face, but it will provide an opportunity for some to be assessed as to their capacity to move classifications in a prompt, fair and consistently applied way (with appeal rights provided for the process).
I will keep you updated on the new RPL process as it moves to publication.
UFUQ Member Fees
As decided by the State Committee of Management and in line with previous years, membership fees will increase on 1 July 2020 by 0.50c per week for professional firefighters and full time, part time and casual communication officers. Auxiliary firefighter fees will increase by 0.50c per month.
John Oliver - General Secretary
Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD