Union Update: QFES ACC Consultative Meetings
Further to our last email, we wanted to email you to let you know about the Agency Consultative Committee (ACC) we had with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services management on Thursday 13 December 2018.
The ACC is a key mechanism through which we formally engage with QFES management across a range of matters including workload, organisational change, workforce policy reviews, and work-life balance for those members employed under the Core EB. We have been asking for this meeting with management since March 2018, so it was great that we had the first meeting before the end of 2018.
At the meeting the Department acknowledged that they had recognised it was important to adequately resource employee relations functions, and that additional FTE had been made available to support the work of the ACC. Departmental representatives were Fiona Bridges and Mike Stevens from Employee Relations.
Together representatives were delegates from SES including A/Regional Manager, SES South Eastern Region, Mark Kelly, as well as Support Officers, Desley Gillam and Jennifer Bouras. For future meetings, we are looking to ensure a broad representation of our members, including across the various arms of QFES, as well as in terms of geographic location. If you are interested in becoming a workplace delegate and attending the ACCs, please let us know.
There was a lot of discussion at the meeting, and given we are approaching Christmas, much of the focus was on bringing back information at the first meeting of 2019. We discussed the following with management:
- The Terms of Reference for the ACC. It was endorsed and a copy is available here
- The McNarn review and C4I report. The Department has advised that they believe this review will be a key mechanism to resolve some of the parity concerns between SES officers and their colleagues in FRS and RFS who are employed under a different Award and EB. We asked that, at our next meeting, there be a formal briefing so that members are better prepared to provide input and be involved in implementation of any recommendations
- The new transfers policy expected to be realised in early 2019
- How management intend to resolve ongoing concerns regarding workloads for AO2 and AO3 staff, given the increasing complexity of these roles. Management advised they would bring back an initial proposal at our next meeting for discussion.
- The new uniform and PPC framework that is currently open for consultation and feedback
- The need for more transparency and expectation that the Department will meet legislative requirements as they relate to organisational change. We believe that there have been a range of organisational change processes undertaken where the Department did not consult with Together members as is required
- Concerns that there have been changes made to a number of role descriptions that added new mandatory requirements that excluded our members from applying. Management have agreed to look into this issue and will report back at the next meeting
- Updates on the reviews of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 and Public Service Act
We also agreed on the timing for meetings for next year, where will we meet quarterly from February. The next meeting is scheduled for 14 February 2019.
If you have any issues that you would like raised, or if you would like to step into a delegate role and attend these meetings – you are able to link in via teleconference – please email firstname.lastname@example.org