News & Media

Proposed industrial action commences tomorrow

By: Michael Wootten

  11.00 AM 26 February, 2014

Views: 2415

You may be aware that, as part of negotiations for the District Mechanical Officers and Tower Overseers Agreement, the United Firefighters (UFU) and the Australian Services (ASU) intend to take protected industrial action. 

While it is disappointing that the bargaining representatives are engaging in protected industrial action, particularly at this time of year, CFA will seek to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the communities it serves. 

The UFU bans begin tomorrow on 27 February and the ASU bans begin on 28 February. It is important that all CFA members understand the circumstances that have led to this point in negotiations and what it may mean to each of you.

You can access a list of the UFU and ASU bans on the CFA Intranet via Management & Admin / Salary, Leave & Entitlements / Employment Negotiation & Bargaining. Scroll down and click on the 2013 District Mechanical Officers and Tower Overseers Agreement, then select  Negotiation Documentation or click here: UFU and ASU Bans List.

Negotiations for the agreement began in January 2013 when the joint UFU/ASU log of claims was received by CFA. Between January and May 2013 CFA clarified and responded to the 77 claims and sub-claims contained in the log. CFA provided a proposed agreement in response in September 2013.

In November last year CFA sought the assistance of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in an effort to progress negotiations and a conference was scheduled for 11 February 2014. The inability to progress negotiations was based on the bargaining representatives’:
rejection of CFA’s proposed wage increases; and
failure to provide alternative proposals, including a wages proposal. 

CFA and the bargaining representatives met at the FWC on 11 February and agreement was reached on exchanging information. 

CFA has provided its information but the bargaining representatives have not yet provided their response, which was due on 25 February. A further meeting at the FWC is scheduled to occur on 6 March 2014.

CFA’s proposal 
CFA’s proposed agreement provides a wage increase of 12.5% rolled out as annual increases of 3.25%, 3.25%, 3% and 3% over the first three years of a proposed four year agreement and improved conditions of employment for District Mechanical Officers and Tower Overseers. 

Key elements of CFA’s proposed agreement are outlined below. 

Proposed 2013 Agreement highlights include: 
  1. A total wage increase over the life of the agreement of $7550 for a Level 3 District Mechanical Officer or Level 2 Tower Overseer. 
  2. Further lump sum payments of up to 3% in July of each year, provided that specified productivity outcomes are achieved. 
  3. Work based allowances (Field, Relieving, A-Grade/Management, First Aid) will also increase at the same rate as wages. 
  4. Time in lieu will accrue at the equivalent penalty or overtime rate. 
  5. Confirmation that: 
    a. overtime applies for excess time worked in operational support roles and the VFBV state championships 
    b. 10 hours overtime built into fortnightly wages will be for travel outside normal hours to and from jobs outside the workshop. 
  6. Compassionate leave increased from three to four days. 
  7. Tower Overseers paid annual leave loading as a lump sum. 
  8. Enhanced parental leave provisions.
  9. Enhanced long service leave provisions (e.g. access to pro-rata long service leave after seven years).
  10. An employee may elect to cash out excess accrued annual leave.
  11. Entitlements for elected employee representatives, including access to paid training leave.
Next Steps
CFA’s proposed draft agreement incorporates many of the bargaining representatives’ claims and, most importantly, meets the ongoing needs of this important area of our organisation.

CFA will continue to monitor the impact of these bans carefully and will take appropriate actions where necessary to ensure service delivery to the community is not compromised.

We encourage you to keep informed throughout this process, especially those directly affected. If CFA members have any concerns, or if you would like to provide feedback please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Michael Wootten 
Executive Director, Business Services
Last Updated: 10 December 2015