BULLETIN

Bulletin No:  077                    Volume:  20                       Tuesday 8 April 2014

UFU PUTS COMMON LAW

DEEDS BEFORE THE

FEDERAL COURT

IN THE VSO CASE

Last year the UFU filed in the Federal Court contesting the CFA’s decision to introduce Volunteer Support Officer positions.  

The UFU had filed in the Federal Court for breaches as the Volunteer Support Officer positions have job descriptions that include the work of firefighters including Operational Officer duties and on the basis the CFA did not consult in accordance with the CFA UFU Operational Staff Agreement 2010.

Last week the UFU extended its claim in the Federal Court to rely on the 2010 Common Law Deed between the UFU and CFA to enforce the protection of classifications and the work of firefighters.  

The Deed was agreed and signed by the CFA and UFU in 2010 to protect terms of conditions of employment should any term of the CFA UFU Operational Staff Agreement 2010 be deemed to be unlawful and/or unenforceable.

The amended claim filed last week was a result of the recent Federal Court decision of Justice Murphy where he found clauses, including the no contracting out/maintenance of classification clause,  were unlawful on the basis it interfered with the State’s right to determine the number and identity of state employees.

Justice Murphy handed down his decision on the 31 January 2014 and found that the no contracting out/maintenance of classifications, safe staffing (including the requirement to recruit at least 90 recruits a year) and secondment clauses were invalid on the basis the clauses infringed the principle that provisions cannot interfere with the State Government’s right to determine the number and identity of state employees.

The UFU is appealing Justice Murphy’s decision and the appeal will be heard by a Full Bench of the Federal Court.  The hearing date before a Full Bench is yet to be set down.

The UFU is relying on the Common Law Deed to protect the work of firefighters and to maintain classifications in the VSO case.

Members may recall CFA’s attempt to contract out the work of firefighters in the past with contracting out the work of firefighters. In 1997 the CFA created the position of Community Support Facilitators to contract out the work of firefighters to Skilled Engineering contractors.   In 2000 the UFU successfully negotiated with the Victorian Government and the CFA to protect the work and classification of firefighters and the CSF positions were disestablished.

        

The VSO case was adjourned pending the outcome of the Federal Court case where the UFU sought to enforce the recruitment of at least 90 recruits a year by CFA.  

The VSO matter has been set down to be heard in October 2014.

Strength in Unity

READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD

Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary