BULLETIN

Bulletin No:          254                                   Volume:  20                        Monday 17 November 2014

To ALL UFU MEMBERS

CFA’S SECRET PLAN TO

“HARVEST”164 JOBS

EXPOSED

With Victoria on the edge of a significant bushfire season, the CFA has begun implementing a secret plan to “harvest” staff by nearly 10 per cent.

Today that secret plan is not so secret after it has been exposed on the front page of the Herald Sun followed by broad media interest on television and radio news.

Rumours of mass job cuts in the CFA were swiftly denied last year by a spokesperson for Premier Denis Napthine. Yet the plan was underway and by June 30 2014 the CFA management was told “vacancies harvested” were 41.75 jobs – or 25 per cent of its target to cut 164 jobs to save $16 million.

The CFA internal document revealed today contradicts Deputy Premier Peter Ryan who, in September 2012 on ABC radio and 3AW, confirmed that the government was cutting $66 million from the budgets of the CFA and MFB but said this would not impact on frontline firefighting.

The hardest hit area – Fire & Emergency Management – will lose 71 jobs, and 20 jobs will go from the critical Operational Training and Volunteerism sector by the end of the current financial year.

In 2009, in the wake of the Black Saturday bushfires the CFA asked then Labor Government for an extra 684 fulltime firefighters. The Brumby Government agreed to fund 342. The Napthine Government has gone to the Federal Court to be released from this obligation.

 

The UFU knew of some job changes in recent months and were finally able to see the full plan via a leaked document.

Please see attached a copy of the leaked “Detailed Design Envelope Data” and below the UFU media release. Any questions please ring Peter Marshall direct 0419 127 004.

Strength in Unity

READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD

Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary

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UFU MEDIA RELEASE: Monday November 17 2014

CFA SECRET JOB CUTS PLAN EXPOSED

With Victoria on the edge of a significant bushfire season, the CFA has begun implementing a secret plan to cut staff by nearly 10 per cent.

Rumours of mass job cuts in the CFA were swiftly denied last year by a spokesperson for Premier Denis Napthine. Yet the plan was underway and by June 30 2014 the CFA management was told “vacancies harvested” were 41.75 jobs – or 25 per cent of its target to cut 164 jobs to save $16 million.

The CFA internal document revealed today contradicts Deputy Premier Peter Ryan who, in September 2012 on ABC radio and 3AW, confirmed that the government was cutting $66 million from the budgets of the CFA and MFB but said this would not impact on frontline firefighting.

The hardest hit area – Fire & Emergency Management – will lose 71 jobs, and 20 jobs will go from the critical Operational Training and Volunteerism sector by the end of the current financial year.

In 2009, in the wake of the Black Saturday bushfires the CFA asked then then Labor Government for an extra 684 fulltime firefighters. The Brumby Government agreed to fund 342. The Napthine Governnent has gone to the Federal Court to be released from this obligation.

 

United Firefighters Union secretary Peter Marshall says the Napthine Government has misled the community, the media and firefighters over the planned cuts.

“We have been negotiating in recent months over a small number of job changes – we were gobsmacked when we saw the full plan via a leaked document.

“Until then we were led to believe that the government was not planning mass CFA job cuts, Although we never believed their claim that their budget cuts wouldn’t impact on frontine firefighting.

“The CFA was stretched in January this year during the Grampians campaign. On February 9, as the CFA struggled to control grassfires raging from Warrandyte to Romsey, the MFB was called on to assist, leaving, at times, only five fire trucks available for emergency calls in the Melbourne Fire District instead of the usual 64.

“And during the Hazelwood mine fire, crews from interstate kept a number of CFA fire stations open, as well as supporting MFB and CFA firefighters at Morwell.

“At the Black Saturday Royal Commission CFA chief Mick Bourke confirmed that the CFA  has asked the Labor Government for an extra 684 firefighters.

“If the CFA needed an extra 684 firefighters in 2009 you can only imagine what they need now, five years later, as Victoria experiences its biggest population growth in more than 50 years.

“The CFA needs staff. Instead it is being gutted by Napthine Government budget cuts.”

  • The CFA has about 600 fulltime firefighters in its 900 operational staff. They staff 33 CFA fire stations, mostly 24/7 in suburban Melbourne, Geelong, Ocean Grove, Warrnambool, Shepparton, Bendigo, Ballarat, Pakenham, LaTrobe Valley, Mildura, Wodonga, etc.

For more information

Peter Marshall, Secretary, United Firefighters Union        0419 127 004