Both DFES staff and the Association office have received queries from individual members with regards to their entitlements under Drivers’ License and Telephone Recoups as listed in VFRS Brigade Administrative Directive 5.4 and SAP 5.4A Payments and Subsidies for VFRS Brigades.
With VFRS Brigade Operational Efficiency Payments (OEP) due to be deposited into your bank accounts shortly, we thought it timely to provide the following information.
- This payment was previously called a Merit Payment and did not include drivers’ license or telephone recoups, which the individual member had to claim themselves. As many members did not bother due to the paperwork required, DFES and the Association agreed that a sliding scale of payments would be included with the merit payment and renamed OEP.
- OEP is based on your Brigade profile (based on a 5 year average of turnouts and reviewed every 2 years), paid in August annually.
For those Brigades who are members of the Association (96 out of 100), you will have the Association’s affiliation fee taken out prior to payment as well as your Zone fees. Please contact your Zone to find out what these fees are. If your Brigade is also a member of the Welfare Fund,this will also be deducted.
Some things to note:
- Drivers’ license and telephone recoups are not Brigade monies and should be distributed to your members (you are not limited to the number of members the calculation is based on). For instance, if you have 25 active members, it is perfectly acceptable to divide the total amount paid for drivers’ license and telephone recoups by that number and distribute the funds that way.
- If you wish to pay the drivers’ license funds to only those who drive your appliances, that is also acceptable.
- Should your Brigade wish to retain the funds, this needs to be brought up as a notice of motion at a Brigade meeting (AGM is best) and voted on by the membership. Should the Brigade vote to retain the funds, no member should have their request to be provided with their share refused by the Brigade. This needs to be ratified annually as Brigade membership changes, as does the personal circumstances of your members.
If you have any queries with regards to this, please contact your Zone representatives, Regional staff or the Association office.