Bulletin No: 069 | 27 August 2020
To: ALL UFU MEMBERS
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON TRANSFER OF INDUSTRIAL INSTRUMENTS
Significant legal decision/precedent achieved by the UFU resulting in protection of all terms and conditions of employment transferring to FRV
Previously, to keep members informed and to provide an understanding of the legal process to transfer your Enterprise Agreements to FRV, the UFU disseminated a Bulletin explaining this process. The Bulletin attached a link to a video that explained the process for transferring your Enterprise Agreements from your previous employer to FRV in simple terms: https://vimeo.com/444762568
Further to this information to members, the UFU Branch Committee of Management is pleased to be able to make the following announcement to members:
In reading this announcement, it is important that we understand that this legal precedent has only been achieved as a result of the unwavering commitment of the UFU and its Legal Team in this matter – disappointingly, no other Union – irrespective of membership base within FRV – contributed to this work.
It should also be noted that this achievement is a significant milestone in the context of industrial and legal precedents. Once again, the UFU – despite being a small Union in comparison – is proud to be at the forefront in paving the way in industrial laws and precedents that not only protect firefighters and UFU members, but also provide a basis that other Unions and workers can now build upon.
DECISION AND ORDER FROM FAIR WORK COMMISSION
Yesterday, Deputy President Gostencnik of the Fair work Commission made orders protecting the terms of conditions of all members employed by Fire Rescue Victoria.
The Commission ordered that FRV will be bound by the terms and conditions contained in all transferring enterprise agreements that applied to the MFB and CFA.
The Commission also accepted that former CFA operational employees were entitled to the terms and conditions contained in the proposed 2016 CFA Agreement. These terms and conditions are now enforceable as terms of a registered enterprise agreement which binds FRV.
The Commission also varied each of the enterprise agreements as requested by the UFU. Note: The variations were not in relation to terms and conditions.
The variation included amendments in order to accommodate the operation of FRV, in particular FRV’s expanded fire boundaries.
The FWC decision results in the UFU achieving a long-term objective in bringing together the terms and conditions of all operational employees under a single agreement, now known as the Fire Rescue Victoria Operational Employees Interim Enterprise Agreement 2020.
Note: The Fire Rescue Victoria Operational Employees Interim Enterprise Agreement 2020 replicates your current terms and conditions and is not a new Enterprise Agreement.
The UFU is currently in bargaining with the State of Victoria and FRV for a new Enterprise Agreement and we are pleased to advise members, that for the first time in our history, these negotiations are without the interference of the Volunteer Association and corporate boards. As you would be aware, the MFB Corporate Board has been abolished and the CFA Board has no legal status in the context of the FRV Operational Enterprise Agreement.
The Fire Rescue Victoria Operational Employees Interim Enterprise Agreement 2020 contains two divisions:
- Division A contains the terms and conditions from the MFB/UFU, Operational Staff Agreement 2016 and will apply to former MFB employees (and any new FRV employees) performing work covered by that agreement; and
- Division B contains terms and conditions from the unregistered CFA/UFU 2016 Operational Agreement and will apply to former CFA employees (and any new FRV employees) performing work covered by that agreement.
The Fire Rescue Victoria Operational Employees Interim Enterprise Agreement 2020 will also apply to employees previously covered by the CFA/UFU Managers Community Safety Enterprise Agreement 2005 (2009 Extended and Varied Version) and any new FRV employees performing work covered by that Agreement.
The Commission also ordered that:
- The Fire Rescue Victoria (Former MFB) Corporate & Technical employees Agreement 2017 will apply to former MFB employees and any new FRV employees performing work covered by that Agreement;
- The Fire Rescue Victoria (Former CFA) Professional, Technical and Administrative Agreement 2016 will apply to former CFA employees who transferred to FRV and any new FRV employees performing work covered by that Agreement.
This is a significant decision for all employees of FRV and workers employed by government and statutory entities.
The FWC Decision guarantees that members employed by FRV have their terms and conditions of employment protected under an Enterprise Agreement.
This is the first time the Commission has recognised that a transfer of business under the Fair Work Act can include a transfer occurring under legislation. As outlined above, this decision has immense benefits for other Unions and workers.
Link to the Decision: https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/2020fwc3428.htm
Please Note: Considerable amount of resources, time and monies were allocated to protecting members’ terms and conditions of employment by the UFU. Unfortunately, these benefits also flow to employees who choose to not contribute or be part of the collective. Again, we emphasise, that it was only the UFU – irrespective of employee status and membership – that achieved this significant outcome.
Expression of Appreciation
The Branch Committee of Management would also like to express its appreciation to the UFU Legal Team, which consisted of: Richard Kenzie QC, Tom Dixon, Barrister, Tonia Sakkas, Davies Lawyers. Additionally, the Branch Committee of Management would like to express its appreciation to the UFU Industrial Staff involved in this historical decision.
FRV and Andrews Government
It would also be remiss of the Branch Committee of Management if it did not acknowledge the leadership of Commissioner Block and the FRV Legal Team, in particular Chris O’Grady QC.
It should be noted by members that this historical decision is a result of a bipartisan effort between the Andrews Government, FRV and UFU.
Strength in Unity
READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD
Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary