News

Rockhampton firefighters will strike this afternoon

Central Region senior firefighter Greg Harris. United voices national day of action - Public service rally in Rockhampton following the Campbell Newman budget announcements. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Central Region senior firefighter Greg Harris. United voices national day of action - Public service rally in Rockhampton following the Campbell Newman budget announcements. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK120912srally2

ROCKHAMPTON firefighters will refuse to do administration work for three hours this afternoon.

Their refusal is part of a state-wide rolling industrial action campaign.

They will still respond to emergencies during the three hour period, which starts at 2pm.

Firefighters implemented state-wide rolling work bans starting Tuesday.

The Firefighters' Union says the action is in response to relentless attacks on front line staff by the LNP government and their senior government bureaucrats.

Firefighters' actions comes just as fire and flood risks heighten. Firefighters these days, are multi skilled professionals who engage in a range of rescue activities at fires, floods and other life threatening emergencies.

The union has been engaged in enterprise bargaining talks with the state government over recent months.

The government has demanded that fire and rescue staff fund a pay increase by trading off working conditions, strip 20 conditions from their current agreement, abolish consultation and move towards a casualised workforce.

 "The government even refused to agree to a basic occupational, health and safety clause. In work like ours, that is simply irresponsible," UFUQ State Secretary, John Oliver said.

"I suspect that senior bureaucrats are not telling the government the whole story about what is going on.

"I see that the Education Minister, John-Paul Langbroek, took a close interest in settling the teachers' agreement matters, including influencing what appears to be some sensible compromise, as well as averting industrial action.

"The difficulty for firefighters is that our Minister, Jack Dempsey won't even meet and discuss any of these issues with us and we are left trying to explain how front line fire services work to bean counters and back room bureaucrats with mysterious agendas all of their own.

"Jack Dempsey is missing in action!

"Firefighters have proposed many options to settle matters, but have been faced with ideological nonsense from bureaucrats.

"We have now placed an offer on the table to the government that we stay on our existing agreement with no changes to wages and conditions.

"We just want the government to leave us alone and stop attacking firefighters, so we can get on with protecting Queensland."

Topics:  firefighters industrial action qfrs



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