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Operational Staff Agreement Update
CFA has been attempting to negotiate with the United Firefighters (UFU) since March last year to provide operational staff members with a new enterprise agreement but unfortunately, despite our best efforts, little progress has been made.
The new enterprise agreement needs to place our organisation in the best possible position to work together with communities to keep Victorians safe from fire and other emergencies.
While we are committed to replacing the 2010 Operational Staff Agreement, which expired on 30 September 2013, the negotiation process has been obstructed because the UFU has still not supplied what CFA would consider a complete and valid log of claims.
CFA provided its log of claims (a list of all of the items that parties want included in a staff agreement) on 24 June last year.
Since then CFA has taken the lead every step of the way to progress negotiations and has now met with the UFU 16 times in continued efforts to negotiate a replacement agreement.
UFU's first log of claims was incomplete. Its second log of claims included a large number of claims that were found invalid in the Federal Court. After discussions in Fair Work Commission, UFU committed to removing these claims so that meaningful negotiations could occur.
In May this year CFA received UFU's third log of claims since negotiation meetings began nearly 15 months ago. This log still included a significant number of impermissible claims, of the kind that UFU had committed to removing.
By including these impermissible claims the UFU is attempting to regulate the number of people CFA employs and how we work. CFA cannot agree to these claims because they restrict the ability of CFA to operate effectively and ultimately undermine the CFA Act.
Given the amount of time the parties have now spent negotiating, and as a result of UFU continuing to pursue impermissible claims, CFA has requested the Fair Work Commission to issue good faith bargaining orders and assist the negotiations to move forward.
As part of this process I will be attending a high level Conference in the Fair Work Commission, Chaired by Deputy President Smith and also attended by the Secretary of the UFU, in an attempt to progress negotiations.
We are keen to provide our operational staff with an updated agreement and look forward to negotiations resuming in good faith as soon as possible. We will keep you informed of any developments.
Fact sheets, negotiations documents and correspondence with the UFU can all be accessed on CFA's Employment Negotiation & Bargaining page.