Baillieu/Ryan Government To Support CFA Volunteers

Baillieu/Ryan Government To Support CFA Volunteers

Victoria Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response Peter Ryan

Coalition Announces Independent Inquiry To Protect CFA Volunteers

Victor P Taffa

 

A Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will launch an Independent Inquiry into the impact of industrial agreements on Country Fire Authority (CFA) Volunteers, Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said today.

Mr. Ryan said today’s announcement built on the Coalition’s $136 Million CFA Volunteer Support Package.

“CFA Volunteers around the State are fed up with the Brumby Government’s failure to consult them about initiatives that will impact on volunteer recruitment, support, training and deployment.” Mr. Ryan said.

 

“Today we are building on our commitment to give Victoria’s CFA Volunteer Charter the force of law with our promise of an independent inquiry into the impacts on volunteers of industrial agreements between the United Firefighters’ Union (UFU) and the CFA.”

“This inquiry will be a crucial first step to correct the Problems Labor has created by putting its Union Mates ahead of the interests of Hardworking CFA Volunteers for the last 11 years.”

Mr. Ryan said there was little doubt that the CFA/UFU Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) recently approved by the Brumby Government would have an adverse impact on the State’s 59,000 CFA volunteers.

“We know past Industrial Agreements between the CFA and UFU have impacted on Volunteers in terms of delaying the rollout of Safety Equipment such as Protective Uniforms and Placing Restrictions on Training.” Mr. Ryan said.

“These impacts were noted in the 2008 Judge Lewis report, which recommended UFU/CFA Industrial Agreements be amended to limit their impact on Volunteers.”

“The Brumby Government ignored these recommendations and has now secretively negotiated a new EBA with its UFU mates that will result in restrictions on the Recruitment, Training, Deployment and Support of CFA Volunteers.” Mr. Ryan said.

“In the minds of many volunteers that is a sure sign of the Brumby Government deliberately assisting the UFU to gain further control over the CFA and a clear indication that disenchanted volunteers will be pushed out of the organisation as more paid firefighters are employed.”

“We believe we need to analyse in full the scope for such impacts, intended or otherwise, before they happen, so we can get an action plan in place to arrest such change and preserve the great volunteer tradition of the CFA.” Mr. Ryan said.

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