￼CFA EBA NEGOTIATIONS
UFU RESPONSE TO MEDIA CLAIMS
DOES A CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE CLAUSE GIVE THE UNION RIGHT TO HAVE VETO ON CFA VOLUNTEERS ACTIVITIES? NO
In accordance with the Fair Work Act all Enterprise Agreements must have a consultation clause.
Consultation committees are not uncommon and there has been a consultation committee in the CFA for many years. For firefighters consultation is imperative as many decisions impact on safety and the protection of the community.
There are examples where the CFA had purchased expensive equipment and appliances that are not fit for purpose and had significant operational issues. If CFA had consulted on those acquisitions these expensive mistakes and the risk to safety would have been avoided.
WILL VOLUNTEERS HAVE TO WAIT FOR SEVEN CAREER FIREFIGHTER TO RESPOND TO ANY FIRE? NO.
This is one of the most outrageous claims made by those seeking to undermine the government.
The UFU claim does not interfere with the dispatching of volunteer firefighters or prevent volunteer firefighters from commencing firefighting. The Acting Chair of CFA, Mr John Peberdy has confirmed this.
The UFU claim is to phase in a requirement for seven career firefighters on the fire ground who will be dispatched only from integrated stations in specified CFA districts – such as Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and the Latrobe Valley.
The provision for seven is based on international research and analysis of the tasks to be undertaken on the fire ground and to ensure the safety of firefighters and the public. The additional career firefighters needed to achieve the seven on the fire ground have been agreed by the Government external to the enterprise bargaining negotiations and process.
In accordance with current procedure the first arriving Incident Controller on the scene undertakes a risk assessment/size up and determines the number of appliances and crews required and notifies oncoming appliances and crews if they are not required to attend.
WILL THE EBA GIVE THE RIGHT TO THE UFU TO HAVE VETO OVER CFA VOLUNTEERS ACCESS TO EQUIPMENT AND PERSONAL PROTECTION CLOTHING? NO.
The provision of appropriate personal protective clothing, appliances and equipment to volunteers is a matter for the CFA, volunteers and the Government. There is nothing in the UFU’s claim to restrict the provision of CFA’s volunteers protective clothing, equipment or appliances.
WILL VOLUNTEERS BE UNDERMINED? NO.
The current EBA negotiations concern the conclusion of a new enterprise agreement for the CFA’s operational staff. The terms of this agreement will only be applied to career firefighters and their workplaces – as is the case with all enterprise agreements.
ARE THE CURRENT NEGOTIATIONS UNREASONABLE? NO.
After over 15 months of negotiations with the Andrews Government, and the intervention of the Fair Work Commission, the UFU has communicated to the government that it accepts all recommendations of the Fair Work Commission as the basis for the resolution of the negotiations.
Media references to very outdated negotiating documents are irrelevant and inflammatory.