The following is a message from the VFBV board to all brigade members,
It just keeps getting worse is the ALP completely stupid
On behalf of the VFBV Board and CEO, the following is an update on today legal proceedings.
The VFBV injunction on CFA to prevent furtherance of a CFA/UFU EBA until there had been
consultation on its content that affected the state 60,000 volunteers has been replaced
by a more onerous undertaking by CFA to the Supreme Court.
As you would be aware, on Friday 10th June, VFBV applied and was granted a Supreme Court
Injunction to require the Country Fire Authority (CFA) to enter meaningful consultation
with us on the contents of the proposed CFA-United Firefighters Union (UFU) 2016 Enterprise
Agreement, specifically those parts which may have an impact on CFA Volunteers organisational
arrangements and volunteer operational capacity. Incredibly, as of writing, we are still
yet to receive the actual current version of the Agreement that the Government have tried
to tell everyone fixes all volunteer concerns, despite Government having not formally engaged
in genuine consultation with VFBV on a single occurrence. Whilst the agreement has apparently
been in negotiation with the UFU for over 1,000 days, Government has yet to provide VFBV
a single day to hear and discuss volunteer concerns prior to decisions being made.
Our Supreme Court Injunction was due to expire today, Wednesday June 22.
Following the events of last week, where the Government sacked the nine members of the CFA
Board due to their refusal to approve the agreement (despite the court injunction), and
accepted the resignation of the CFA Chief Executive Officer Lucinda Nolan, we have been
in correspondence with CFA as to how they envisaged to genuinely consult.
Following negotiations between our legal teams, overnight last night we reached agreement
with the CFA on a proposal to not seek an extension of our initial injunction, on the basis
that CFA provide written undertakings to the Supreme Court, which would provide VFBV with
a court supervised process to ensure genuine engagement occurred with the new CFA Board and
CEO. Supreme Court Justice McDonald consented and approved the lifting of the injunction on
the basis that CFA make a legal undertaking supervised by the court to;
1. On or before the 24 June 2016, the CFA must provide to VFBV for the purposes of
consultation, a copy of the proposed agreement to replace the current 2010 EBA
2. The CFA Chair & CEO and/or the Board is to meet with VFBV on the 8th July 2016 and at
such further times as are mutually convenient to the parties for the purposes of consultation
and to provide opportunity for volunteer concerns and impacts to be heard and considered
3. The CFA is not permitted to initiate the EBA approval process prior to the 20th July 2016
4. And CFA is required to provide VFBV 3 business days notice of its intention to sign or
agree to a new EB on or after the 20th July
At approximately 10:45 this morning, Supreme Court Justice McDonald issued a Court Order
binding CFA to the above agreement. We are told the Court order has the same basic legal
affect and penalties as the injunction, but in addition provides us further assurances.
Whats the difference between an Injunction and a Court Order?
In layman terms, an injunction is a court order NOT to do something, whereas a court order
can also order CFA to DO something.
Shortly following todays court proceedings, the Premier released a Media Release under the
title "Setting the Record Straight on the CFA Dispute" and stating amongst other things;
The Government welcomes the lifting of the Supreme Court injunction.
By only giving half the story, it would appear to be an obvious ploy to spin or mislead
the public over what actually occurred in court today. We believe this approach goes directly
to the Governments credibility. We have attached a copy of the proposed consent orders agreed
last night, that CFA solicitors were required to read out in court this morning in order to
enter them on the record, so you can make your own mind up as to the governments version of
events. The certified Court documents will be available on our website as soon as they are available.
Make no mistake, todays Court order requires CFA to genuinely consult with VFBV and
volunteers, and we may make application to the court at any point if the orders are not
volunteer fire fighter for over 30 years,