Bulletin No:          042                    Volume:  21                Friday 6 March 2015






The UFU has raised concerns with the MFB that it has provided unfair advantage to employees who have actively partaken in regressive industrial actions in support of senior management.

Significant acting up opportunities have been provided to personnel who provided evidence for the MFB or participated in the MFB’s regressive industrial relations campaigns:

  • Commander McQuade gave key evidence for the MFB and has subsequently been appointed into an acting ACFO position
  • Commander Pearson gave key evidence for the MFB and has continued to be appointed into an acting ACFO position (for an extended period of time)
  • ACFO Zammit provided key evidence for the MFB and has been subsequently appointed into an acting DCO position.
  • Commanders Jugum and Dalrymple were seconded to work within the MFB’s industrial bargaining unit and have both been afforded extended opportunities to act into the higher rank of ACFO.

This has allowed the senior personnel to attain experience of acting in higher duties for a protracted period. Other senior personnel have not been provided such opportunity via a fair and open process in accordance with the MFB’s stated employment principles.

Further, during the Hazelwood crisis and other situations, some such Acting ACFOs were not required to be available for operational duties, apparently due to their activities in working against firefighters terms and conditions of employment. We understand that such Acting ACFOs were without precedent removed from recall lists of which other personnel were required to be included on.

The proportion of opportunities provided to senior personnel who gave evidence for the MFB far outweigh the opportunities provided to senior personnel who gave evidence for the UFU. 75% of those Commanders who gave evidence for the MFB are in Acting positions (3 out of 4 Commanders) and the only vacant DCO position is currently filled by an ACFO who gave evidence for the MFB.

In all such appointments, there appears to be no open and  transparent process that affords equality to all eligible employees or policy or framework to ensure that such opportunities are provided to all employees.

Given the past actions and views of the employer the decisions by the MFB to provide the above opportunities without a fair and open process to the particular Commanders and ACFO’s clearly have been made in an environment where an apprehension of bias is evident.

It is well known that those senior operational personnel who have opposed the MFB’s recent ideological campaign have been ostracised by the MFB senior executive. Such Commanders and ACFO’s have been provided less opportunity than others.

The MFB’s attitude and treatment of employees was summarised in senior leadership meetings late last year where the MFB relayed to its managers that those who gave evidence for the MFB were courageous and wouldn’t be forgotten and that others who may support their union should question their position within the MFB leadership.

Given these concerns the UFU has sought from the MFB that these senior Acting opportunities are shared amongst employees and a level playing field is provided so that all senior personnel are provided the same opportunities in the workplace and if they choose to seek promotion.

Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary