The CPSU recently wrote to Commissioner Dermot Barry after the announcement the establishment of TFES – which will see the Tasmania Fire Service and State Emergency Service joining to become one entity, known as the Tasmania Fire and Emergency Service.
We noted that the merger did not deliver on previous commitments by the Government to maintain the statutory independence of TFS, but it did provide a clearer governance model, which is sorely needed.
We asked the Commissioner for:
- Early engagement and genuine consultation on proposed structure and roles within in the newly established TFES.
- That the CPSU is given ongoing representation on the State Fire and Emergency Services Committee as a key stakeholder group.
- Fair and equitable access to opportunities for all employees, through transparent recruitment practices.
- And that the Industrial Consultative Committee be re-established to facilitate consultation through this period of change.
We know that workers have the best knowledge of services and if change will work. They are able to provide practical feedback to make sure change happens for the better. Top-down change without listening to employees doesn’t work – we’ve seen this happen too often and know the damage that can be done to the services Tasmanians rely on. Authentic consultation with union members is needed.