Bulletin No: 142 | 24 August 2018




MFB’s attempt to hide behind decision of Fair Work Commission

UFU to lodge appeal next week


  • Following 9 months of conciliation and assurances by the employers that they would not raise jurisdictional points in the Commission, at the very last moment the MFB and CFA chose to raise the technical point of jurisdiction in an attempt to block the Fair Work Commission to make a binding decision on your relativities and rank alignment.
  • The UFU advises members that your Union will lodge an appeal of the Commissioner’s decision early next week. We will keep you informed via Bulletins and Officer teleconferences. 


Key points:    

  • We received a number of calls and emails from members regarding MFB Communications and email responses from MFB Board President Jasmine Doak. We have yet to receive any responses from the CFA Chair and CEO. 
  • It appears that the MFB and MFB Board President are attempting to absolve itself of responsibility for the decision made by the Fair Work Commission. This is causing confusion among members – we have clarified some of the points raised in the Comms and email responses below. 
  • MFB Board President Jasmine Doak has also suggested to members that a senior member of the ELT can meet with platoons to discuss this matter. The UFU advises members that we are yet to receive a response by MFB and CFA regarding an open forum meeting with Officer ranks, as requested by Officer members.




  • Dan Stephens & Jasmine Doak to MFB employees yesterday:

 “Commissioner Wilson determined that the Commission is not able to arbitrate or conciliate these disputes”. 

UFU response:

This decision was made because the MFB and CFA in their joint submissions to the Commission raised the point and opposed the Commissioner, an independent umpie, from determining the matter.  On the first day of the hearing, legal counsel for MFB and CFA asked that the Commission not hear the matter with evidence and hear and determine the jurisdictional point first.  They never wanted the matter to be determined at arbitration. 


  • Dan Stephens & Jasmine Doak to MFB employees yesterday:

 “Arbitration was never the preferred approach for MFB”. 

UFU response:

As above, the reason the MFB and CFA opposed the Commissioner from determining the matter was because they did not want to be legally bound by any outcome or resolution regarding your rank alignment and relativities. 


  • Jasmine Doak email response to employees:

Unfortunately, for the most recent disputes, the FWC didn’t have the ability to resolve the disputes (as confirmed by the Commissioner)”. 

UFU response:

It is more than unfortunate that the MFB and CFA chose to raise this point and block the Commission from arbitrating the matter.  It is insulting to our Officer members that their employers have blocked the Commission from arbitrating the very matter that the parties have spent almost a year conciliating on!   


  • Jasmine Doak email response to employees:

“I can confirm that the ‘way forward’ I referred to was the pathway we outlined in the FWC at the request of the Commissioner’.

UFU response:

This “pathway” that was the suggestion that the matter be conciliated (it was already being conciliated) and that the decision made by the Commissioner not be binding on the parties (9 months of time, legal costs and other expenses … what’s the point if it’s not binding?)


UFU conclusion:

It has taken more than 9 months of discussion and conciliation with your employers regarding rank alignment and relativities, and they have chosen this path to nowhere.  They chose to suggest not to be bound by any outcome of the conciliation, then they chose to renege on agreement with the UFU that they would not raise the issue of jurisdiction in the FWC, then they chose to submit to the Commission that it did not have jurisdiction to determine the matter.  Now, the MFB has chosen to hide behind the decision of the Commissioner. 


Strength in Unity

Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary