Bulletin No: 216 Volume: 21 Tuesday 10 November 2015
To ALL UFU MEMBERS
AFTER FIREFIGHTERS HAVE WAITED OVER 800 DAYS FOR A NEW AGREEMENT:
THE ANDREWS GOVERNMENT EMBARKS ON FURTHER DELAYS!
Today the Andrews Government have continued their tactics of stalling and delay in the Fair Work Commission, instead of engaging in genuine bargaining.
As advised to members in UFU Bulletin #212, the Fair Work Commission issued a recommendation to enable a short process which would require the CFA/Government to define their bargaining position in writing.
In accordance with the Fair Work Commission recommendation, the UFU provided the further documentation on Wednesday and Thursday last week which listed the UFU’s position and gave specific detail as to when and by who five matters that the Government raised in the Commission were agreed.
The Government and CFA were required to respond to the UFU documentation this morning at 10am with a list of disagreed matters. However as the morning progressed and the UFU listened down the line to the sound of Government phones ringing out, it became clear that the Government was not going to provide the material they agreed to provide before the Commission. This is a far cry from their actions prior to the Andrews Government being elected.
As members will be aware, Minister Garrett has made a large number of media appearances recently which have included a range of comments regarding the status of agreed matters between the parties. When asked by Jon Faine about what the impasse is in bargaining, the Minister stated amongst other things that:
‘some things have been agreed and we have no intention of taking those off the table.’
Given the UFU has very clear documentation of what was agreed and what was not agreed, we were waiting with interest for the CFA/Government’s written position on these matters this morning. It is easy for the Minister to make the above public comments, but it is obviously something entirely different when required to put a formal position in writing to the Fair Work Commission where these matters can be tested with evidence.
Eventually the UFU was copied in to an email from IRV to the Commission which stated that:
‘Unfortunately we are not in a position to file the material consistent with recommendation two. We are finalising materials and seeking government’s instructions to ensure the content is accurate. I will confirm shortly when we will be in a position to file our materials.’
The Government material was due at 10am this morning and was to be followed by a conference before the Commission at 2pm. Due to the Government delay, the conference this afternoon has been cancelled and the matter has been relisted for 1pm tomorrow. The Government has provided no commitment to the UFU as to whether the agreed material will be provided.
While the Government can easily and quickly make media statements about what is agreed or not, and their bargaining position (including a wage increase without speaking to the bargaining representatives about it), they appear unwilling to apply the same commitment to the good faith bargaining process.
This further delay today is totally unsatisfactory and the UFU has raised its concerns with the Fair Work Commission over these repeated actions. We hope to receive the Governments formal written position tomorrow and are currently considering further actions should there be further delay.
Strength in Unity
READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD
Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary