Bulletin No:          267                                    Volume:  19                        Friday 13 December 2013



On Monday 9 December the Fair Work Commission granted an order for a CFA District Mechanical Officers (DMO) and Tower Overseers protected action ballot after the UFU lodged an application last week.

The Fair Work Commission has ordered the ballot to take place within 30 days of the order being granted, meaning it must take place before the 8 January 2014.

Voting will be conducted by the AEC via a postal vote. Members will have a ballot paper sent to their home. Dates for the conducting of the ballot will be advised shortly.

Only DMO and Tower Overseer members of the UFU or DMO’s/Tower Overseers that have nominated the UFU as their bargaining representative are eligible to take part in the industrial action organised by the UFU.

What we are fighting for-

The CFA provided a ‘proposed draft agreement’, around 10 months after the beginning of bargaining, and without making any effort to explain what they were proposing to change.

From the moment the CFA provided there proposed draft agreement it was apparent that we are not just fighting for a decent pay rise, we are fighting to protect our existing conditions and our existing agreement.

The CFA’s refusal to explain what changes they are seeking and why they are seeking those changes has been rightfully seen by members as amounting to an attempt to sneak through changes to the detriment of DMO’s and Tower Overseers.

Further bargaining meetings have revealed that the CFA are indeed targeting the removal of key conditions within the DMO and TO agreement. An example includes the right of DMO’s and Tower Overseers to be redeployed to another position where their current position has been made redundant or they are unable to perform it due to ill health.

Another example is the proposed removal of a provision within the agreement which states that ‘All Employees covered by this Agreement have been designated as Operational by CF A for the purposes of membership of the Emergency Services Superannuation Scheme ‘.

The CFA provided no explanation of why they were seeking this change or what the effect of the change would be. They did not even advise that they were seeking the change in the first place.

Furthermore, CFA argue that they are unable to compensate DMO’s and TO’s for the removal of such conditions because the saving to the CFA is ‘not quantifiable’.

The CFA’s current wages offer is just 3.25 percent for the first year.  Given the agreement has been expired for almost a year, this is an average of just 1.125 percent. Taken together with the removal of the CPR allowance, DMO’s would be taking an effective pay cut of more than 1 percent.

The UFU have rejected the CFA’s proposals to reduce existing conditions and continue to fight for improvements to the DMO and TO agreement such as provision of a nine day fortnight; an extension of the allowance paid for fitting crew protection appliance and an increase to the availability allowance to bring it in line with the operational staff agreement.

If members have any queries in relation to this matter please contact your local delegates or Jeremy Murphy at the UFU office on 9419 8811 or on 0419 127 010.

Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary