Bulletin No:          041                          Volume:  22                              Wednesday 17 February 2016





The Andrews Government continues to spread inaccurate propaganda to media in a bid to demonise professional firefighters  –  ironically just repeating the Napthine Government anti-firefighter and anti-worker tactics.

Today the Herald Sun has again published an article riddled with inaccuracies that distorts the current status of bargaining.


We contacted the Herald Sun late last night once the story was available online and were informed the information the reporter relied upon had been provided by the Andrews Government.


Despite detailing the inaccuracies to the Herald Sun they refused to remove the story from the website and claimed the paper had already gone to press.

Here are the facts:

  • We are not seeking personal chauffeurs for Commanders.  As firefighters know Incident Controllers manage the incident while driving to the scene and this often includes managing a number of appliances and firefighters.  The UFU claim is that where practicable firefighters drive Commanders to the incident so that the Commander can safely undertake the critical incident control work en route.

  • We are not seeking seven firefighters on the ground at every CFA-region fire but we are seeking the best practice international standard for CFA professional firefighter stations which protect major population areas in suburban Melbourne and major regional centres.  We are seeking this standard for the stations where there it can be achieved and have acknowledged there are stations that will not be able to do so.

  • The UFU is attempting to discourage the use of contracted firefighters by demanding if contractors are used that they are paid the same as professional firefighters.  We are claiming professional firefighters receive an additional payment for the extra work they will have to perform to compensate when working with contractors due to the contractors not being trained to the professional standard.

  • We have not rejected the PTSD trial because we won’t work with volunteers.  What is proposed is not what we were promised by the Andrews Government. Last month we learned that the initial $200,000 trial will now also include volunteers.  A Victorian study found 7% of firefighters have PTSD and 68% have moderate symptoms. The $200,000 proposed was probably insufficient for the needs of career firefighters. If the Andrews Government is now to add approximately 35,000 CFA volunteers, the Austin pilot program will need much greater resources. Firefighters who need assistance cannot wait another year or two and deserve the specialised dedicated programme they were promised.


A small number of reporters have willingly been the vehicle for the Andrews Government misinformation campaign.  Complaints have been made to the Australian Press Council regarding those persons and the Herald Sun.

Clearly the Government and the CFA and MFB are trying to divert attention from their continued reneging of agreements and their failure to agree to measures that will improve community and firefighter safety.


Their lack of respect for firefighters is astounding. Disturbingly the Minister’s choice of words on radio this morning “tried to talk them off the ledge” were not only provocative but totally insensitive given the recent tragic events.  


As Members are aware the UFU has called a Special Members’ Meeting for next Thursday for Members to determine to accept or reject the Fair Work Commission’s draft recommendation, with two UFU proposed additions, for the resolution of the negotiations for the CFA Operational Staff Agreement.


The Special General Members’ meeting to consider the Fair Work Commission draft recommendations with the two additional matters of private arbitration to address the wages gap from 1 October 2013 to November 2015, and the wage outcomes for Station Officer and Senior Station Officer, will be held:


Thursday 25th February: 9.30am or 7.30pm

Victoria Trades Hall, 54 Lygon St, Carlton 3054

Members are reminded that the protected action remains in place. The Herald Sun’s claim of increased industrial action is a repeat of a mistake they made last week in a story they had to pull from print after the first edition.  The Herald Sun last week wrongly claimed that firefighters were voting on new industrial action.


Members are reminded of the importance of the campaign and to make every effort to participate where possible.  

The Postcard Campaign is continuing and below is the list of MPs offices we are focusing on.

Once again, in areas where the electoral office isn’t in a well trafficked area or with accessible parking for a truck, there’s also the option to distribute postcards in shopping centre car parks and retail strips.

Politician & seat


MP address

Additional locations

Geoff Howard | Bunyinong

Ballarat City

15 Main Rd, Ballarat 3350

Sturt St shopping precinct, outside Bridge Rd Mall

Tim Pallas | Werribee

Hoppers Crossing

56-58 Watton Street, Werribee VIC 3030

Werribee Train Station, outside Pacific Werribee shopping centre, main shopping strips

Lisa Neville | Bellarine

Geelong City, Belmont, Ocean Grove, Corio

Shop 1, Newcomb Central, 71 Bellarine Highway

Outside Westfield Shopping Centre, Corio Shopping Village, Belmont Shopping Village

Nick Staicos | Bentleigh

24 (Malvern East), 25 (Oakleigh), 34 (Highett)

723 Centre Road, Bentleigh East 3165

Bentleigh Strip Mall, Bentleigh Train Station, East Bentleigh Train Station

Sonya Kilkenny | Carrum

Patterson River

622 Nepean Highway, Carrum

Carrum Train Station (and surrounding shops)

Tim Richardson | Mordialloc

Patterson River

374 Nepean Highway, Chelsea 3196

Outside Mordialloc Plaza

Jane Garrett | Brunswick

4 (Brunswick)

Suite 1, 31 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East 3057

Barkly Square shopping centre carpark

James Merlino | Monbulk


1635 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave 3160

Mountain Gate shopping centre entrance / carpark

Vicki Ward | Eltham


718 Main Road, Eltham 3095

Main Rd shops

Daniel Andrews | Mulgrave

29 (Clayton), 31 (Glen Waverley)

517A Princes Highway, Noble Park  3174

Glen Waverley shopping centre car park

As history has shown solidarity will prevail.  

We will fight this propaganda war with the truth and continue to do all that is necessary to fight for the safety of the community and firefighters.

Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary