Mass meetings of members of the United Firefighters Union (UFU) on July 26 voted to endorse in principle two proposed enterprise agreements negotiated with the Victorian state government. One agreement covers workers employed by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), while the other covers the Country Fire Authority (CFA). The two agreements provide for pay rises and cover a wide range of other issues including rostering, staffing levels and occupational health and safety.
United Firefighters Union
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he will amend the Fair Work Act to make it possible for the federal government to block the proposed new enterprise agreement for firefighters employed by Victoria's Country Fire Authority (CFA). Turnbull said he will introduce legislation in the first sitting week of the new parliament to expand the list of "objectionable terms" that cannot be included in enterprise agreements.
United Firefighters Union (UFU) members handed out leaflets at polling booths in Victorian marginal seats on election day, in an attempt to counter a Liberal scare campaign against a new enterprise agreement for UFU members employed by the Country Fire Authority (CFA). The Liberals falsely claim that the agreement gives the UFU the power of veto over CFA management decisions, and that it would prevent volunteer firefighters from fighting fires unless seven professional firefighters were present. They claim that the agreement endangers public safety.
The United Firefighters Union (UFU) has produced a TV advertisement responding to a scare campaign against a new enterprise agreement for firefighters employed by Victoria's Country Fire Authority (CFA). Anti-union forces claim the agreement will damage the CFA and undermine its ability to fight fires.
Victoria's firefighters union has rejected a pay rise from the Country Fire Authority (CFA) because it says the offer compromises safety conditions. The CFA offered workers a 19% pay rise over six years, but the United Firefighters Union said 350 promised positions had been removed from the agreement. Union secretary Peter Marshall said: "These... new positions weren't arbitrary, they were … for locations that do not have enough firefighters.
"What do we want? A fair deal. When do we want it? Now!" more than 1000 firefighters chanted as they marched through the streets of Melbourne on December 8. The Victorian Labor government, like its Liberal predecessor, has refused to reach an agreement with the United Firefighters Union (UFU) that would guarantee firefighters' working conditions. December 8 was the 977th day without a workplace agreement.