Firefighters vote on MFB agreement

Firefighters employed by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) have begun voting on a new enterprise agreement, which includes a pay rise of 19% over four years.

The previous agreement expired in 2013.

MFB management resisted including clauses in the new agreement requiring it to consult with the United Firefighters Union (UFU) on a range of questions, such as equipment and uniforms, and clauses clearly specifying the rights of workers in relation to issues such as rosters.

The impasse continued under both Coalition and Labor state governments, resulting in protest rallies by firefighters.

Eventually the current Labor government changed its approach, and an agreement was signed last December.

But MFB management caused further delay by issuing an "explanatory memorandum" that gave a different meaning to the agreement.

The UFU took legal action to stop the voting until the memorandum was withdrawn and replaced by one acceptable to the union.

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