Comment on split of paid, unpaid fire fighters


THE state government wishes to have all volunteer Country Fire Authority to service the rural areas and the existing paid United Firefighters Union member firefighters named Fire Rescue Victoria to service Melbourne and some regional areas.

At present, the CFA brigades have district offices across the state to manage the support for the CFA brigades.

The paid CFA staff at these district offices support the 98 per cent volunteer CFA brigades in their role of the management of fire prevention, fire suppression, community safety, as well as other emergency management tasks.

The district paid staff can join the UFU; it is presumed many are UFU members.

For the government's aim to have UFU members in the FRV and volunteers in the CFA, all the present paid staff would need to be transferred to the FRV and new staff appointed with affiliation to a volunteer-type union or association.

It would be presumed most current CFA staff would need to move from the country areas.

This would suit CFA volunteers, as some of the current district staff with leanings towards UFU ideals saw their role was to manage the brigades and volunteers.

There needs to be complete disassociation from UFU for the CFA to be an all-volunteer emergency management force.

But there is still one major problem to overcome.

All the current paid staff within the CFA have the threat of being sidelined, reprimanded, or sacked by Premier Daniel Andrews and Peter Marshall from the UFU.

The current CFA board, chief executive, chief officer, assistant chief officers, staff as well as the Emergency Services Minister, are obliged to work under this threat or be sacked, as demonstrated in the past.

Gippsland Senior
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