Member for Morwell Russell Northe this week in Parliament raised concerns on behalf of local CFA volunteers in relation to the Premiers meddling in EBA negotiations with the United Fire Fighters Union (UFU).
Mr Northe said everyone agrees that career fire fighters deserve fair pay and conditions and this has never been disputed, but there are genuine concerns raised by CFA volunteers on aspects of the said EBA that need addressing.
“On Saturday we saw CFA volunteers from across the State of Victoria including those within the Morwell electorate converge at State Parliament to send a very strong and clear message to Daniel Andrews,” Mr Northe said.
“One can only hope that the Premier listens clearly to the voices of our CFA volunteers, because without their dedication, commitment and resources our communities would be in dire straits!”
Mr Northe said that he had been contacted by a number of local CFA volunteers over the past week who had expressed major concern on the potential impact upon volunteers should the Premier bulldoze his way through EBA negotiations.
In Parliament I was able to read out in part a letter sent to the Premier by local CFA volunteers which reads as follows:
“I write this letter with concern and make call on you to right a wrong that impacts on me and 57,000 other volunteers and career staff in the CFA, I like many others, paid and unpaid joined the CFA to protect our communities from fire and other emergencies. This is a commitment I make and reaffirm every day, obtaining and maintaining skills, giving feely of my time and appreciating the sacrifices that my family makes to enable me to do it. BUT enough is enough – when one body of 880 persons, you are going to support in preference to the 57,000 volunteers, allowing this small group to have veto and right of decision making over our Board and Chief Officer and me in the name of industrial relations is abhorrent!”
“This sentiment has been expressed by many volunteers both locally and across the State, and it’s now time for the Premier to stand up and support CFA volunteers,” Mr Northe said.
Media contact: 5133 9088
Media enquiries – CFA volunteer Lance King can be contacted on 0428 637 117.