Tuesday, June 12, 2012

NSW firefighters warn of strikes | News.com.au

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STRIKES may be rolled out across NSW fire stations if the state government cuts conditions in the upcoming budget, the firefighters union has warned.

THE Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) says it will meet on Wednesday morning to discuss possible industrial action after the NSW government foreshadowed heavy job cuts in next week's budget.

"If there is any threat to our award conditions around workers compensation or if there is any threat to our Death and Disability ... firefighters will be considering all courses of action," FBEU state president, Darin Sullivan told reporters on Friday.

As part of his second state budget, Treasurer Mike Baird is set to announce a binding 1.2 per cent annual cap on all government agencies.

The move - which is equivalent to cutting 10,000 jobs - is hoped to save $2.2 billion over four years.

Mr Baird said it would not come at the cost to vital services.

But Mr Sullivan said this was a "hoax".

"If support services and the resources that are in place in Fire and Rescue to help firefighters to do their job are taken away or reduced then the capacity for firefighters to do their job is reduced," he said.

Secretary of Unions NSW, Mark Lennon said they would be launching a "comprehensive campaign" against the job cuts following the budget.

A Sydney rally against cuts to workers compensation planned for Wednesday would no doubt see protests over job cuts raised as well, he said.

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