Media Release

08 June 2016

Battin: A Fair and Balanced CFA deal

Wednesday 8 June 2016

A Fair and Balanced CFA deal

The head of the United Firefighters Union Peter Marshall claims that there has been misinformation about what the UFU is demanding in its pay dispute with the CFA.

If Peter Marshall wants to set the record straight and make public the claims that Daniel Andrews thinks are “fair and balanced”, then I am happy to help him.

Perhaps the worst of the UFU’s demands is the now well-known that CFA volunteers be forced to stand around watching a fire while they wait for 7 professional firefighters to come supervise them.

The UFU is also demanding to have its own veto board, to overrule operational decisions by the CFA management – of course they are also insisting that this board only meet at times that won’t cause any disruption to the activities of the UFU – because you can’t have a fire getting in the way of your lunch date with Mick Gatto.

The UFU is also insisting that the EBA prohibit firefighters from having to change a tyre or even put air in one as well as having full and unrestricted access to the CFA email system.

If Daniel Andrews pushes through this agreement, all CFA volunteers, irrespective of rank or years of service will now have to report to a professional firefighter. And to make the new pecking order very clear to volunteers, they won’t be allowed to ride in the same firetrucks as professional firefighters.

And if an adverse finding is made against a firefighter’s conduct, it can’t be added to their file without their say-so, and it must be removed from their file after a year, no matter what it was they had done.

Under this “fair and balanced” agreement, part-time work is prohibited, even for a mother returning from maternity leave.

The UFU is demanding that driver’s license fees be paid for in-full by the taxpayer, along with ambulance membership fees, and allowances for gym memberships, along with one paid hour every day to go to the gym. And naturally, there will be a $125 sport voucher provided, every year.

Is this fair and balanced to the millions of Victorian taxpayers who pay their own driver’s license fees, pay their own ambulance memberships and pay their own gym memberships?

Perhaps the cherry on the Daniel Andrews fairness cake is the UFU’s demand that its members get two sickies every single week, without any need for a medical certificate – on top of their 5 weeks annual leave.

And just to be very clear so there is no misinformation, all of this comes on top of a massive 19% pay hike at a time when average wage growth in Australia is only 2.1%