Bulletin No:          258                                         Volume:  19                       Tuesday 19 November 2013




There has been a number of requests for information regarding voting on the Log of Claims at tomorrow’s meetings. Members are informed that tomorrow’s meeting will consist of extensive presentations on both the MFB and CFA claims for new Operational Staff Agreements.

Additionally, building upon the process of the ACTU survey of UFU member claims and bulletin requesting further input from members, a report back will be given on the result of membership input.  

Membership input has resulted in a potential draft log of claims being extensive, which will require a process of membership finalisation.

It is intended that this will be made available to members on a confidential basis electronically which will result in members having time to consider such log.

This process is required to ensure that your negotiators are reflecting our members’ wishes.

Members may recall that both the MFB and CFA launched their claims in an extremely aggressive and adversarial manner in April and June this year. I am pleased to report that the UFU negotiators have not only ensured that our members’ interest has been protected by ensuring the good faith bargaining requirements are complied with and utilizing the legal processes available under the Fair Work Act but have also formulated research from expertise in the following fields:

  • Engagement of an economist to analyse MFB and CFA capacity to pay and assertions regarding costings.
  • Engagement of a professor of economics to qualify the definition of productivity in the context of a literature review rather than the government bankable savings (cost cutting) policy that the MFB and CFA are relying upon.
  • Engagement of a professor from Newcastle University to determine the true work value of firefighters in the context of an ever increasing complexity and demand on services provided.
  • Provided the MFB a historical perspective of the consequences of negative bargaining and adversarial negotiating processes on its employees and its organisation.
  • Engagement of a highly regarded academic institute regarding effective staffing levels in the fire service to ensure not only the safety of firefighters but also the community

The above are only a small example of what your union and its negotiating team have been undertaking in preparation for what is going to be a clearly difficult set of negotiations.

Members are encouraged to attend tomorrow as it is important that you understand the above processes and strategy of your union given the foreshadowing by the government and the employers of enterprise bargaining outcomes being conditional on trading off safe staffing levels and other entitlements.

The Branch Committee of Management wish to reaffirm and reassure you that you will have plenty of time to consider your log of claims however there will be a time period for finalisation of membership input and finalisation of the claim.

If you have any queries, please contact Peter Marshall Branch Secretary on 0419 127 004.

Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary