NSW is dealing with an unprecedented bushfire emergency.
Transport workers are amongst many on the fire lines volunteering with organisations like the Rural Fire Service, Community Fire Units or the State Emergency Services.
The TWU are asking the question, why should these volunteers lose pay and leave. These heroes should not have to pay for the right to be saving our State.
Richard Olsen, TWU State Secretary said “In recent days we have had to fight for members who have gone to fight fires as companies have been taking pay and leave entitlements from them.”
The TWU is aware that many companies are reluctant, resisting our claims for provisions in agreements that cover emergency leave.
“Given the comments regarding the increasing severity and devastation of this bushfire season, I have no doubt that community minded members will continue to go and fight fires and should be supported by their companies, the community and Governments should consider their role as well”.
“The bushfire emergency is impacting the entire state and is not going away soon. It is rare for leave provisions to exist for volunteers for emergency events” Richard Olsen said.
The bushfire emergency is impacting transport workers in many ways across the state. For some worksites, smoke has had an impact, yesterday some Sydney Airport workers were forced to take refuge from the smoke that has descended across worksites.
The TWU of NSW will continue to look at how employers can support emergency volunteers in the future.