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Perth waterways less safe from today

Perth waterways will be less safe from today, as Marine Safety Officers take Industrial action across the city because the Department wants to axe their overtime allowance.

The Officers, who manage safety aspects of some of WA’s biggest events including Skyworks and the Rottnest Channel Swim, will be refusing to enforce fines for boat users including; speeding, unlicensed skippers and non-compliant equipment.

The Officers are also the first responders for oil spillages and any police incidence on the river or ocean.

The Marine Safety Officers will be imposing work bans together with The Department of Transport’s IT Department, Taxi Compliance Officers and Regional Transport Officers in response to the government’s decision to try and axe their current overtime payments.

As many of the Officers are on-call, work after-hours and weekends, some stand to lose up to $10,000 a year.

CPSU/CSA branch assistant secretary, Rikki Hendon says this action will have an impact on water users, and various other transport services, until the Department comes to the table.

“Members are disappointed that the Department is trying to take away their current overtime provisions. They’re losing $400 a fortnight and that has a real impact on the livelihood on individuals,” says Ms Hendon.

“Our members’ have chosen to participate in work bans rather than a full strike to minimize the impact on the public, but if the department does not work with us then they may have no choice.

“We’re asking for the Department to come back to the table and re-negotiate, so staff can go back to creating a safer environment for our community.”

IN THE NEWS:

WA govt employees start work bans (The West Online)

WA govt employees state work bans (Nine)


UPDATE: Friday,  8 April 2016

DoT Marine Safety General Manager Ray Buchholz has pulled the Fremantle based boat, which patrols the entire Swan River, putting community safety at risk.

The grounding of the boat is in response to industrial action Marine Safety Officers have introduced today, over an ongoing pay dispute with the state government.

The industrial action included refusing to issue fines to water users for speeding, breaking waterway rules and having non-compliant equipment. 

Officers still intended to intervene in any unsafe practises on the water and give verbal warnings. But with DoT withdrawing the boat entirely, there is now no water safety patrols throughout the Swan River.


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