MFB appeals Fair Work Commission decision

Today the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) filed an appeal to the Fair Work Commission regarding the recent decision of Commissioner Wilson not to terminate the MFB’s Operational Staff Agreement.

MFB have taken this action to put community safety first and the Napthine Government fully supports the MFB’s decision.

Under the current agreement, which was signed under the previous Labor government, the United Firefighters’ Union has been given ultimate control to run essential fire services in our state and has free rein to interfere with MFB management.

It has forced MFB to repeatedly escalate matters to the Fair Work Commission for something as simple as moving a truck from one station to another, which compromises community safety and just doesn’t make sense.

It means the MFB is restricted in managing day to day operations and the ability to run its organisation safely and effectively. This is not about undermining firefighers’ terms and conditions of employment but about allowing the MFB to manage this essential service for all Victorians.

This is about ensuring managerial decision making and operational matters rest with MFB management and not at the whim of a militant union.

Victorians expect our emergency services agencies, like MFB, to manage their operations in a manner which puts them in the best possible position to work together with communities and keep Victorians safe from fire and other emergencies.

Under the current agreement this simply is not possible. A vote for Labor next weekend will see a return to union rule of the state’s fire services.   The facts are a record investment in Victoria’s fire services means:

  • Under a Napthine Government there has NEVER been funding cuts to the MFB or CFA;
  • Victorian firefighters continue to be the best resourced and funded in Australia; and
  • The 2014-15 budget for MFB is $326 million, $39 million more than under the last Labor budget.

Claims of cuts to the state’s critical fire services are a complete lie and nothing more than Labor and union spin.

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