Bulletin No:          77                                       Volume:  21                        Friday 24 April 2015



Members are advised that on Monday the Unions met with ESTA regarding the fire team leader dispute and the parties have resolved the matter.

The dispute was initially lodged as ESTA was seeking to advertise what are permanent, full time roles, as effectively 12 month, fixed term contracts diminishing employee’s job security in the workplace.

Further, particular concerns were raised in the context of the position at Ballarat where management have indicated a desire to move to a 4 shift roster pattern with members raising concerns that they felt that this was the reason management was seeking to avoid permanently appointing a person to the role.

The UFU had further been advised that ESTA was seeking to use these roles as a trial for new recruitment methods whereby employees would be appointed to role on a temporary basis and provided training and support in assessing whether they could be appointed permanently. As the Unions rightly pointed out to ESTA however, appointments in this manner amounts to no more than putting employees on probation for the exorbitant period of 12 months with no guarantee of any job security. Further, the Unions clearly raised with ESTA management that training initiatives should be provided to employees earlier in their career so ESTA can be confident in those they are promoting.

Following discussions held on Monday the parties have resolved the dispute on the following basis:

  1. The role advertised at Tally Ho will be re-advertised as a permanent role and the person appointed will be appointed as such;
  2. The role at Ballarat will be filled via a 9 month secondment arrangement as opposed to a fixed term contract ensuring that the person appointed to the role cannot simply be dismissed at the end of the 12 months but has a right to return to their previous position;
  3. ESTA has confirmed in writing that the fire team leader position in Ballarat will remain a full-time permanent position despite the secondment arrangement;
  4. This method of appointment for the role at Ballarat will not be used as evidence of a custom and practice for this type of appointment;
  5. ESTA have agreed to consult regarding implementing initiatives around talent pools across all centres;
  6. ESTA will not use psychometric testing until consultation has occurred with the Unions.

The UFU is pleased that this matter could be resolved in a manner that maintains job security for our members in your career progression and ensures that ESTA does not introduce fixed term contracts into the workplace.

If members have any queries regarding this matter please contact Rini Krouskos on 0400 441 616.


Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary