This week’s news: Hong Kong firefighters threaten action

Hong Kong: Firefighters threaten action over hours
Firefighters have threatened a work-to-rule campaign over their demands for shorter working hours. Hong Kong Fire Services Department Staffs General Association president Lee Tak-kei said their demands for a 48-hour week, in line with other disciplined services, were first made in 1990 but has gone unanswered for 22 years. The current standard hours for firefighters are 54 per week.
Thousands march in HK on May Day
Firefighters also took to the streets to demand a 48-hour workweek. Over 1,500 off-duty firefighters joined their protest march, while many on-duty staff held protest meetings inside fire stations.

Australia
Vic: Fire killer to serve at least 14 years
Brendan James Sokaluk, 42, was sentenced after being found guilty last month of 10 counts of arson causing death in the Latrobe Valley three years ago.

NT: Perfect conditions increase bushfire threat
Bushfires NT is predicting an above average number of wildfires this dry season.

Vic: 56.8 million for emergency services infrastructure and equipment in budget
More than $22 million has been allocated to build or upgrade CFA stations in regional Victoria, plus $12.3 million for fleet infrastructure upgrade.

Qld: Triple zero communications centre commissioned
The Brisbane Region based Ambulance and Fire Communications Centre, is embedded.

More international
UK: Union bid to stop 999 call centre move
Firefighters in Lancashire are continuing their fight to overturn a decision which will see their emergency call centre moved 30 miles away.

USA: HIV presumption passes unanimously in Tennessee
After nearly three years of lobbying, the Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association (TPFFA) scored a huge victory when its HIV presumption legislation unanimously passed the state House and Senate. Effective July, it will be Tennessee’s only statewide presumption law.

Canada: BC's new emergency service workers protection legislation
Burnaby firefighter Mike Hurley, who is also president of the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Association, supports a new Emergency Services Disclosure Act that specifies a process in which an emergency responder, such as a firefighter, can obtain a court order to confidentially learn the infectious diseases status of an individual whose bodily fluids they've come in contact with on the job.

USA: Al Qaeda magazine encourages forest fire arson in the US
A magazine published by members of al Qaeda urges lone wolf attacks in the US, including the setting of forest fires.

UK: Union condemns fire chief’s comments
The intervention and timing appear to be a bungling attempt to scupper talks and provoke strike action. They are unwelcome and unhelpful. The Essex Fire Brigades Union says no final decision has been taken to commence a ballot for industrial action in the Essex fire service.

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