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From the CEO – status of Fair Work submission
We want to diversify our workplace and make sure CFA is reflective of our community, and today we have taken a further step towards achieving this.
The Fair Work Commission is currently reviewing the Fire Fighting Industry Award 2010 (also known as the ‘Modern Award’) that sets out the minimum terms and conditions of employment.
The Modern Award provides a baseline for CFA and its operational members to negotiate an enterprise bargaining agreement.
CFA and MFB recently lodged a joint submission for the Commission’s review seeking to include provisions that enable us to employ part-time firefighters.
Chief Officer Joe Buffone joined me today in the Fair Work Commission where we gave evidence in support of the CFA submission.
Under our Award, we can offer only full-time employment to firefighters. We are unable to offer part-time work as our current Award does not allow it.
The present restrictions do not reflect current policy, community standards and legal obligations, or arrangements in place in other large emergency service agencies.
In other workplaces, many women, as well as men, return to work on a part-time basis after having children.
Under our current award, female firefighters must return in a full time role, not a part-time one - this is restrictive and does not reflect modern workplaces.
We want to make CFA a more attractive workplace for both men and women. Allowing part-time work will provide a more flexible and inclusive workplace and is a step towards ensuring we have the right employment conditions to attract a more diverse workforce.
Other emergency service organisations, such as Victoria Police, provide operational staff part-time work and it’s time CFA did the same.
The hearing is scheduled to sit for two days with provision for a third day.