AUXILIARY UPDATE : 12 april 2016

Update for auxiliary members regarding the deed of agreement to remove temporary firefighters in Qld

Your union has obtained agreement in a deed signed by QFES for the graduated removal of temps from Queensland by June 2019.

Your union is aware that, for many of you, the details of this agreement and what it exactly means for auxiliaries may be unclear.

To be clear, in the three years between now and June 2019, there will certainly be many changes. However, temps will continue to be used whilst structures and recruiting are set in place before June 2018, and then residual reliance on temps will be ceased by June 2019.

Your union sought the deed of agreement for a number of reasons -

1. By relying on temping, QFES have long avoided the critical issue of permanent staffing shortages across the state.

2. The use of auxiliaries as a ‘stopgap’, in an attempt to resolve permanent staffing shortages, often removes experienced auxiliaries from their stations and shifts the resourcing problem to the regions that rely on the great work that auxiliaries do.

3. Many auxiliaries expressed frustration with the current temping process, whereby they were being told by regional management that temping would improve their chances of obtaining a permanent professional firefighter recruit position. However, the evidence continually showed this was not the case.

4. QFES continued to use auxiliaries as temps instead of recruiting them as professional firefighters and this situation was rapidly increasing.

5. Your union has been contacted many times in relation to regional management and their intentions to significantly increase the reliance on temps instead of seeking to recruit professional firefighters.

This historic agreement between your union and QFES, which will result in a phased withdrawal of temps, coincides with an agreement to increase recruiting of professional firefighters.

Further to this, QFES intends, with consultation with your union, to introduce at least one recruit course for professional firefighters drawn from auxiliary ranks only. This was confirmed in the last update from Commissioner Carroll.

Auxiliaries who apply will still be required to undergo the same assessment processes as any person applying to become a recruit, but the recruit course will only be filled with auxiliary firefighters who have passed those initial assessments.  The recruit course will be a full 16 week course. 

It is possible that the opportunity for auxiliary recruitment may happen more than once. Your union now has the opportunity to negotiate further with QFES in regards to this matter.

I wish to thank both Commissioner Carroll and Doug Smith (Chief Strategy Officer), for their proactive engagement with your union on this significant issue.

I will keep you informed as further information regarding recruitment comes to hand.

If you have any questions regarding the Deed of Agreement, please email [email protected]