Bulletin No:          233                      Volume:  21                        Monday 30 November 2015






Today the UFU attended the Fair Work Commission as a result of the UFU’s application in light of the Government reneging over 300 clauses of the agreed CFA bargaining document.

Additionally members will be aware that the Andrews’ Government have engaged in conduct attempting to divide the membership and/or demonise firefighters in the public arena.

As members are aware, the UFU have engaged in a campaign as a result of the Andrews Government’s actions.

Today the CFA and the Government tabled a one-page document at the Fair Work Commission that sets out two options for the CFA enterprise bargaining.

Members should be aware that these options only contained headings and the truth is always in the detail.  The enforceability and meaning of a clause is dependent on the wording of that clause as is whether there is actually any entitlement.

While discussing this document in the Commission, the CFA and the Government informed that it was going to, or already had, unilaterally disseminated that document to our members.  Obviously this is another attempt to try and divide our membership.

This is not only bad faith but an extreme divide and conquer strategy by the Government to try and break the solidarity of the UFU.

Additionally the options are dependent on the UFU lifting all current protected industrial action and agreeing not to implement any new bans.

Clearly our foreshadowed Rally on Tuesday 8 December 2015, and the overwhelming response by our delegates and members to the Andrews Government dirty tricks is having an effect.

However we still have a long way to go and we must remain united.

Please note that their options have no detail and as described above the wording of the clause is most important.

This action by the Government is no different to the actions by the Premier’s Office and the Minister’s Office in leaking an old draft EBA to the Herald Sun.

The UFU will consider these options, but in the interim the UFU’s campaign will continue and membership should not be fooled by a document that in reality has no detail or substance other than headings.

The document tabled by the CFA and the Government today in the Fair Work Commission has been reproduced below and is as follows:

“Options for resolution of the CFA/UFU Bargaining Dispute – 30 November 2015

The CFA and Government are committed to resolving the bargaining dispute as expeditiously as possible.  The CFA and the Government are committed to resolving all outstanding matters to conclude the negotiations for a new agreement.  The CFA and the Government are committed to the current process before Commissioner Roe but believe there are other options which can be considered by the parties.  In considering the two options below, and the most recent material filed in the Fair Work Commission (Monday, 23 November 2015), consideration has been given to some of the matters previously agreed as part of the bargaining process.  Those matters including Board of Reference and Code of Conduct were provisionally agreed on the expectation that some of the UFU’s claims would be modified.  This expectation extended to wages, allowances and the UFU’s position on changes it is seeking to consultation provisions.  On 20 October 2015, the UFU made its position clear in relation to those matters and an agreement was not able to be reached.  It is on this basis that some matters have been reconsidered by the CFA and Government.

Conditional upon the UFU immediately lifting all protected industrial action currently occurring and agreeing not to implement any new bans against the CFA and undertaking to recommend its preferred settlement (see Options 1 and 2 below) to its members, the CFA and the Government put forward the following additional options for consideration:

Option 1:

  1. Retention of the terms and conditions of the 2010 Agreement with the addition of the following matters:

  1. Wages: In addition to the 5% wage increase paid in November 2015, a further 3% per annum payable on 1 August 2016, 1 August 2017 and 1 August 2018.  A nominal expiry date of 31 July 2019.

  1. New allowances and benefits:
  • Ambulance subscription
  • Accident make up pay period increased
  • Fitness Leader allowance
  • Difficult to fill location allowance
  • Sports voucher annual allowance included in the agreement
  • Driver education allowance

  1. Additional matters to be included in the agreement:
  • Protection from Federal Court action
  • Board of Reference
  • Code of conduct
  • Senior Operational Personnel Rank Review
  • Road Accident Rescue Review
  • Greater Alarm Response Systems Review
  • Fire Services 101
  • Family Violence Leave Provision
  • Diversity Clause
  • EMR roll-out to integrated stations
  • Increase in recruit training courses

  1. A provision recognising the commitment to an additional 350 firefighters and the date by which they will be recruited.

  1. Service delivery improvements to meet extra costs associated with this offer to be identified and implemented within the first three months of the new agreement’s operation. Discussion will occur through the agreement’s consultative mechanisms.

Option 2

  • Continue with the current process before Commissioner Roe but with the ability of either party or Commissioner Roe to decide to have matters not agreed dealt with by way of consent arbitration”

Delegates’ telephone conferences are being held this afternoon and further information to members will be provided.

If you have any queries please ring Peter Marshall on 0419 127 004.

Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary