Serious questions need to be answered by the Andrews Labor Government over the signing of the United Firefighters’ Union (UFU) Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) last Friday, according to Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
“In Parliament on Tuesday the new Minster – who was appointed after the previous Minister resigned over the fact she believed the EBA greatly disadvantaged volunteers – was asked to explain what appears to be a serious anomaly,” Mr Bull said.
“The anomaly was that the statement from the CFA chair announcing Mr Andrews’ new hand-picked CFA board had approved the EBA was timestamped 10.36am – five hours before the Board meeting to discuss the matter started on Friday.
“When asked to explain this, the Minister gave no direct answer.”
Speaking in Parliament shortly after, Mr Bull said it was concerning the EBA had been signed after the previous Minister had taken the serious step of resigning her position, the CFA Board was sacked, the CFA chief executive officer resigned and the CFA chief officer resigned – all because they believed the EBA greatly disadvantaged volunteers.
“On top of these respected people, there were also many reasoned voices like Jack Rush QC, who sat on the Bushfires’ Royal Commission, who said it was flawed.
“Despite these concerns, the Premier sacked the Board and appointed his hand-picked replacements to sign-off. Then we have a media statement coming out with a decision to support the EBA, carrying a timestamp that was five hours prior to the meeting starting to make that decision.
“And we are meant to believe natural justice has taken place?”
Mr Bull said he hoped upcoming Federal legislation and the legal action being taken by Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria would result in better protection of the rights of volunteers.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016