CODE 2, VOL 35, NO 25 : 15 july 2021

QFES/SOU 17.5% INJUNCTION – SOME RELEVANT INFORMATION

I wanted to keep you informed and updated on the QFES/SOU QIRC matter because I am aware of discussions happening at your work locations.  However, based on legal advice, I can only talk a bit more about how we got to where we are.

The UFUQ works with whatever government is in power. As a trade union, we are a member of the Queensland Council of Unions (the QCU). This provides us with a seat at the table whenever matters are being developed, negotiated, modified or changed, or removed.

The SOU are not at these meetings, they aren’t part of these discussions simply because they aren’t part of the QCU. The SOU find out about these matters when the UFUQ or the state government announce them.

We consider our affiliation to have provided significant benefit to all UFUQ members.  Here is just a few recent examples –
• Presumptive workers’ compensation cancer laws
• Presumptive workers’ compensation PTSD laws
• WHS law amendments in 2016
• Reframing the IR Act to bring the focus back to fairness in 2016
• Sign-on bonus at the commencement of CA19
• Deferred wage increase (instead of no increase happening at all)
• New pay points throughout CA16 and CA19
• And many, many more.

These gains by your union were obtained in good faith.  Each and every one was then either automatically given to the SOU or was subject to the SOU asking for them for themselves after the UFUQ has obtained them.

The UFUQ is a proud trade union that works to obtain and maintain benefits for its members, but what we’ve never done and would never do is lodge legal proceedings to block another union’s members obtaining a benefit. That’s not what unions do.

I would also like to respond to a few of the most frequent questions we are receiving –

1. Are the Senior Officers Union (SOU) affiliated with the United Firefighters Union Queensland (UFUQ)?
The UFUQ does not have any affiliation with the SOU.  The SOU is a registered organisation (union) entirely separate from the UFUQ.

2. Did the SOU consult with the UFUQ prior to lodging their QIRC application?
No.  There was no consultation of any type or any approach at all to your union from the SOU regarding what the UFUQ had been offered by the state government, there was simply an application to the QIRC to prevent eligible UFUQ members from receiving the entitlement.

3. How much could I lose if the SOU is successful in removing the 17.5%?
We have provided some approximate calculations for ranks and pay points below to give you an idea. These rounded calculations are before tax, and are from 1 January 2022 for a full calendar year and are a point in time approximation -
• Firefighter (PP2) - $1,300
• First Class Firefighter (PP4) - $1,470
• Senior Firefighter (PP4) - $1,610
• Station Officer 1 (PP3) - $1,860
• Station Officer 3 (PP3) - $2,000

I will certainly report back to you once I have any more information regarding the SOU matter.

John Oliver - General Secretary

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