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CFA dispute: Time to stand down Dan

The Melbourne Labor Government must immediately drop its support for an enterprise bargaining agreement with the United Firefighters Union that would severely damage the CFA.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said Fair Work Commission recommendations this week effectively gave the UFU everything it wants including a wholesale takeover of the CFA by a militant union.

“I have been hearing from volunteers throughout my electorate over the past few weeks and they are horrified at the prospect of the UFU marching in and taking control of the CFA,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The proposed so-called ‘consultation’ clause would effectively give the union a veto over operational decisions of the CFA, hamstringing the organisation and the volunteers.

“This is an outrageous grab for power by a union that currently has little influence over most CFA brigades, which are in the main are staffed entirely by volunteers.

”Our volunteers have done a great job for decades and continue to offer a free service to protect our communities from fire and bushfire.

“If Daniel Andrews thinks he can get away with this payback to the union mates who helped him get elected, he will be in for a rude shock. The 60,000 volunteers will not accept this level of involvement from the union and neither should they.

“I stand proudly with our CFA volunteers against undue influence from the union and call on Labor to back down on their support for this deal immediately.”

Mr O’Brien said all fire fighters deserved respect and acknowledgement and professional fire fighter should have appropriate pay and conditions. However there is no justification for the unions to be involved in day to day CFA activities and this proposed deal should be ruled out of hand.

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