Draft Grievance Service Standards for Comment

The following Draft Service Standards are currently out for consultation and members are encouraged to provide feedback.
The VFFA is sharing this material to help provide the widest circulation possible.
Send you feedback or enquiries by email to feedback.standards@rfs.nsw.gov.au or provide your feedback via the MyRFS forums.
1. Consultation Draft Service Standard 1.1.3 – Notice of Grievance Form.
2. Consultation Draft Service Standard 1.1.3 Grievances v3.0

VFFA General Meeting – Murrumbateman Inn

Dear VFFA Members, Friends, Supporters and Sponsors

You are invited to join us for an important General Meeting to be held at the Murrumbateman Inn (near Yass) at 9am on Saturday April 1st 2017.

Yes… we do realise that this date is April Fools Day, but only a fool would deny that the voice of the volunteer firefighter in NSW is gaining strength, volume and resolve.

Last year’s meeting (at this location) drew over one hundred people from around NSW along with a number of media representatives including the ABC’s Landline Programme.

We expect to have some of those affected by the Sir Ivan fire in attendance along with representatives from NSW Farmers Association. As such, we are expecting this meeting to be quite feisty and productive.

Morning and Afternoon Tea will be provided and a pub style lunch can be purchased. Sorry, but we don’t have millions of dollars in the bank to put on a five star show like other associations, you will have to buy your own lunch. Having said that, we do offer support for those who may be facing financial hardship on a case by case basis, please contact your VFFA Rep if you need assistance.

Currently accommodation at Murrumbateman is full but there is plenty available at Yass (only ten minutes away). Give us a shout if you need assistance securing accommodation.

We hope you can make it on the day.

Bullying survey results

Bullying survey results

The VFFA has received numerous complaints from volunteers who are bullied, harassed and pushed aside when they dare to speak out against issues that contradict the direction of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS). In more recent times, The NSW RFS has openly targeted RFS Brigades and individuals that have openly supported the VFFA.

The VFFA is dedicated to ensuring that ALL volunteers (not limited to VFFA members) are provided with a voice. The VFFA respects that all persons (RFSA members, all volunteers and staff) deserve an opportunity to provide input into the future direction of the NSW RFS.

The VFFA conducted a survey of volunteers over a period of 9 months (21st May 2016 to 6th March 2017) with the following results:

Click the Read More button to view the results page.

RFS Volunteer Fire Fighter Discipline Procedures in Need of Reform

The VFFA is concerned that in NSW volunteer rural fire-fighters who are subject to disciplinary action and who lodge grievances against paid staff have no option than to place faith in a system that is owned, controlled and arbitrated by the RFS.

Under the NSW Rural Fires Regulation 1997 a member of a rural fire brigade can be guilty of a breach of discipline if they are negligent, careless, inefficient or incompetent in the discharge of their duties. Hence the grounds for bringing discipline charges against a volunteer rural fire fighter are very broad, poorly defined and wide open to interpretation.

What are you doing with all that money?

The RFSA is sitting on $9,788,262 (ref: NSW RFSA Annual Financial Report – 31 March 2015).

This article poses the question “what is the RFSA doing with all that money?” and looks at the fund raising activities of the RFSA.

There has been many occasions where the VFFA has been approached by the public with questions on fundraising activities. The VFFA has informed those people that we do not conduct telephone based fund raising therefore it must be an RFSA call centre.

When you get that phone call requesting support for Rural Brigades, how much of your money gets there?