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Federal Court proceedings this week
CFA and the United Firefighters Union (UFU) will be conducting proceedings in the Federal Court this week, to resolve a number of issues around the recruitment and allocation of operational staff and whether some of the clauses in the 2010 Agreement are legally binding on CFA.
There are two key issues being debated:
- the recruitment of extra career firefighters
- key aspects of the 2010 Agreement that restrict the ability of the Chief Officer to exercise his duties.
The recruitment of extra career firefighters
As we've said in the past, CFA is committed to recruiting 342 additional career firefighters as part of Project 2016. However the timing and deployment of these firefighters will occur progressively as the infrastructure, staffing and appliances become available.
This will take longer than originally expected due to changes in attrition rates, funding and demographic factors and we consider it necessary to make changes to the schedule to best serve the needs of our community.
We will continue to assess and make adjustments to the recruit program and the expansion of our workforce in a way that is consistent with responsible service delivery, financially sustainable decisions.
Key aspects of the 2010 Agreement that restrict the ability of the Chief Officer to exercise his duties
Key aspects of this Agreement conflict with the Chief Officer's statutory obligations to allocate staffing as required. This includes provisions that include the number and identity of persons to be employed, qualifications and eligibility for employment and the term of appointment of such persons.
The Chief requires the capacity to make and vary decisions around the numbers and allocation of operational staff and resources to ensure CFA is meeting the needs of communities it serves.
A decision in the matter is unlikely to be known before late June/early July and we will provide you with further updates as they become available.