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Update to staff and volunteers
As many of you would be aware, I recently wrote to the Emergency Services Minister, The Hon. James Merlino MP, following media speculation about changes to Victoria’s fire services.
I have now received a response from the Minister that the government values the advice of the Board and that any policy change would include engagement with the Board.
I have been separately advised that government has received advice stating that changes to the Fair Work Act make it impossible to implement the operational enterprise agreement at CFA or any agreement for operational staff. There is much force in this advice as the amendments to the Fair Work Act are very wide and have significant impact on our organisation.
As an organisation, we cannot continue to operate with this kind of uncertainty hanging over large parts of our workforce and no hope of a resolution within reach.
Against this background, government has confirmed it is considering a range of options.
The structure of Victoria’s fire services is a decision of government and our role in any change will be to implement government policy, just as we do in other areas of the business.
The Board and leadership of CFA will continue to advocate for the best interests of our organisation and to ensure there is no disruption to operational capability.
I will continue to keep you updated of any developments.
Greg Smith AM