AMONG the volunteer firefighters protesting at a rally in Melbourne last Sunday was a contingent from South Gippsland.
A busload of CFA officers from local brigades, including five from Foster CFA, departed Leongatha for the rally, a protest over a proposed enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) which they claim favours the union over the CFA.
Foster CFA captain David Jones was among those who went to Melbourne.
“We volunteers support the permanent CFA members in their endeavours to get better wages and conditions, but we do not support the United Firefighters Union trying to take over control of the CFA,” said Mr Jones. “Control of the CFA should remain with the chief officer of the CFA.”
He estimated more than 2000 people participated in Sunday’s rally and he was pleased to see Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull make an appearance. Mr Turnbull said he would back CFA volunteers and he vowed to amend the Fair Work Act.
Speaking on Monday morning, CFA Region 9 operations officer Bill Alards issued a cautionary note, saying that the proposed EBA from the Fair Work Commission was a non-binding recommendation. “There’s no obligation for the CFA to take it on,” he stressed.
The matter was due to be discussed by State Cabinet on Monday.