Bulletin No: 257 Volume: 21 Sunday 20 December 2015
ALL UFU MEMBERS
SUPPORT SERVICES AVAILABLE OVER CHRISTMAS PERIOD
As you would now be aware there is a systematic campaign by the Andrews Government, Emergency Services Commissioner, MFB and CFA Executive Management to attempt to lower your standing within the community for industrial purposes.
As firefighters you should be proud of the work you do as it is clear that the majority of the public not only value and respect that work, but will also support you against these systematic attacks.
Yesterday contrary to the beat up by the Emergency Services Commissioner, MFB and State Government, firefighters both within the MFB and CFA attended duty and no doubt, prevented the loss of millions of dollars of property and countless lives. This is because of your dedication and professionalism in the face of the dangerous work that you undertake in protecting the community.
In relation to the “newspaper” that has been part of this orchestrated campaign, in publishing untruths about firefighters, the following action will be taken:
- These matters and their actions, including the statements from the fire services commissioner, have been referred to the Unions lawyers to take the appropriate action.
- This matter will be also be referred to the Australian Press Council.
- Other actions as advised to be appropriate will also be put into place.
Regarding the comments made by the Emergency Services Commissioner, it is a matter of fact that there was no ban in place by the union and its members, as he had erroneously stated to the media.
In relation to the “story” in the Herald Sun, it is a matter of fact that there was no order by the Union to members to not attend work.
Further, In relation to the public comments section under the story on the Herald Sun website, the Union Secretary posted his phone number for any person to ring for clarification. It is telling and goes to the fact that most of the comments were disingenuous, as the Union Secretary did not receive a single phone call.
Given your professionalism and dedication to the community, it is no doubt that these matters have caused considerable distress to firefighters.
As Firefighter you should be reassured that your dedication and professionalism has been recognised as the Senate of The Australian Parliament has recorded and reaffirmed that firefighters sacrifice their own quality and quantity of life in protecting the community they serve.
Regarding the MFB Executive leadership team, the actions of the CEO, in both organisations, in not defending and advocating for their employees against these untruthful and unfounded attacks is deplorable, puerile and disgraceful behaviour.
In contrast to the untruthful media reports propagated and fuelled by the Andrews Government, MFB and CFA management, please click on the attached link to an article in the Age newspaper which properly and accurately articulates recent events:
Firefighters on duty as usual as rumours of availability quashed
As firefighters you know the work that you do and the risks that you take in protecting the community. No one can denigrate or take that away from you.
However if you have been effected by the vicious slur on your reputation as a firefighter we again emphasize the following support mechanisms that are available:
- For MFB personnel there is 24 hour access to a dedicated counselling service with psychologists by calling 1800 451 138 or 1300 366 789. If you call this service you can have immediate access to a psychologist via telephone or alternatively make an appointment. This service is also available for family members.
- Additionally for MFB personnel there is an extensive peer support programme where a clinician can be accessed by calling 9665 4405 or 0407 665 174 or the Peer Coordinator on 0417 538 289 or 9665 4516.
- CFA members can access Critical Incident Stress Peer Support by calling either the CFA Chaplain Service on 1800 337 068 or CFA Welfare Support on 1800 626 616.
We encourage you to use the above services provided by the MFB and CFA, but if you feel uncomfortable in doing so there are external support services which all can access.
On the beyondblue website https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ the following support services are listed that are external to the CFA and MFB and that are available to all.
The website has comprehensive information that deals with a range of mental health awareness and the support and help that is available.
The numbers for these services are as follows:
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Services 1300 659 467
- beyondblue Support Service 1300 224 636
If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the UFU or Peter Marshall on 0419 127 004.
Strength in Unity
READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD
Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary