FBEU Promotional Working Group

The FBEU Promotional Working Group have identified some of the key issues in relation to the current career progression from Senior Firefighter to Station Officer. We believe that our proposal has merit, however, we require the input of the membership to take this further and achieve realistic change. We will use this information and process as the template for identifying changes to the career progression from Station Officer to Leading Station Officer and Inspector.

Issue Overview

It is no secret the current Leading Firefighter & Station Officer promotion/progression process is plagued with issues (both regarding candidates and supervisors). The employer has been made aware of this many times yet chose to do nothing. In October 2020 (SitRep 40/2020) we called for your assistance to put together a working group to identify the key issues in relation to the career progression from Senior Firefighter to Station Officer, Leading Station Officer & Inspector.

The FBEU working group, your peers, has made several proposed changes to the current promotional pathway from Senior Firefighter to Leading Firefighter and we have identified several key issues that need immediate action.

We believe that there is an opportunity to change the current processes in order to implement a promotional system that is fair, transparent and gives firefighters the best opportunity to gain promotion on true merit and at the same time allow FRNSW to respond to dynamic staffing changes.

Under the current system, there is NO transparency.  The Leading Firefighter Knowledge Test has not been updated in over 6 years, those with marks receive no feedback as to where they sit within the co-hort of applicants and are unable to make a determination to resit the test or not.  There are clear inconsistencies with supervision.  Those awaiting responses to questions about the question bank are rarely responded to. 

The current process was supposed to be a more transparent, fair and equitable system, IT IS NOT.

There remains a massive issue in relation to the scores expected of those within the GSA and those outside of the GSA in order to be successfully offered a place on the Leading Firefighter Promotional Program.  This could be the opportunity to introduce an ‘eligibility score’.  A mark that FRNSW sets that means your placement on a program is assured, irrelevant of the numbers.  If you fall outside of that particular years placement, you are offered a position on the next available promotional program.

Many Firefighters, particularly with the GSA, have waited 3 years in order to have the opportunity to undertake the Leading Firefighter Promotion.  An organisation that has care and understanding for the mental wellbeing of its workforce should be expected to provide some type of time frames for staffing opportunities.

The promotional pathway needs to change.  The duties and role of acting as a Station Officer for Leading Firefighters is the promotion and should be deemed as such.  FRNSW have profited by not promoting eligible Leading Firefighters substantively to the rank of Station Officer and those caught in the never ending loop of Station Officer applications are being more and more disenfranchised.

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* 1. Name

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* 2. Personal Email Address

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* 3. My station/workplace (number or name) is