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Firefighters demoted under new contract

Lindsay Tisch National Internal Affairs Spokesperson

28 March 2001

Firefighters demoted under new contract

The Government is proposing to pay more to union firefighters while demoting their non-union colleagues in its sop contract to members of the Professional Firefighters Union, National's Internal Affairs spokesman Lindsay Tisch said today.

"This Government is intent on demoting up to 300 community service team firefighters according to a union newsletter circulated last week, while 1200 of their colleagues get an 11 percent pay rise and additional allowances.

"According to the newsletter CSTs will be demoted between one to three ranks from 'fire officers' or 'fighters' to 'qualified firefighters'. This is unfair and the Government needs to assure those firefighters they won't lose income in this change being forced on them. "These 300 CSTs are working 56 hours a week but will go down to working a 42 hour week like those on the old D1 union contract. They're being promised an 'equalization allowance' to make up for the shortfall but many CSTs still fear they'll be forced into a pay drop.

"The CSTs should retain their identity, current conditions and contracts they were employed on. It is unfair to change their conditions this way.

"I am looking forward to hearing more about what is really going on in the Fire Service at the Government Administration parliamentary select committee tomorrow morning. I want to hear from the Fire Service Commission how the latest round of contract negotiations is going," Mr Tisch said.

Ends

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