Bulletin No: 122 | 22 October 2019
TO: ALL UFU MEMBERS
IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION TO MEMBERS
FEDERAL LIBERAL GOVERNMENT UNSUCCESSFUL AT ATTEMPTING REVIEW OF MFB EBA DECISION
MFB UFU OPERATIONAL STAFF AGREEMENT DECISION UPHELD
Today, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission headed by Vice-President Hatcher has rejected the attempt by the Federal Liberal Government to revoke the successful approval of the MFB/UFU Operational Staff Enterprise Agreement 2016.
As discussed at various members meetings this year, the Federal Government was continuing the attack on UFU members and the MFB Operational Staff conditions of employment by seeking to overturn the MFB EBA approval decision through “review” application to the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission.
After strong representations from UFU Legal Team (Richard Kenzie QC, Tom Dixon barrister, and Tonia Davies, Davies Lawyers and UFU staff), together with the MFB Legal Team, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission today issued a decision refusing both of the Federal Liberal Minister’s review applications and accepting the undertakings offered by the MFB/supported by the UFU.
In their decision, the Full Bench stated that the “Agreement consists of 163 clauses and 20 schedules dealing in considerable detail with almost every conceivable feature of the employment of firefighters” [52 – emphasis added].
The Full Bench went on to state that they “do not consider that there would be any practical purpose in reviewing the first or second decision on the discrimination ground. Any issue of indirect discrimination has been entirely resolved, and the point is now effectively moot” [67 – emphasis added].
The Federal Liberal Minister was not successful in any of their arguments to challenge the approval of the agreement. In relation to one of the undertakings arguments advanced by the Federal Liberal Minister, the Full Bench said the following “The Minister’s interpretation is rejected, and we express our surprise that it was even advanced” [64 – emphasis added].
We congratulate our members on their unity, commitment and solidarity but – most of all – having faith in what has clearly been a protracted dispute. Once again, through our unity, we have been able to build upon our conditions of employment via a new Enterprise Agreement.
Members meetings will be called shortly to discuss this decision, FRV transition, senior operational personnel rank alignment and SO/SSO relativities, and other matters. A further bulletin will be issued shortly regarding this matter.
Strength in Unity
READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD
Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary