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Secret agreement reveals fire union ‘takeover’

Getty

Getty

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews is preparing to surrender the Country Fire Authority (CFA) to the United Firefighters Union (UFU) according to a secret draft agreement.

Obtained by the Herald Sun, the agreement lays out a proposal that includes the eventual phasing out of CFA volunteers in what some say would cause a mass resignation if invoked.

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One clause in the agreement outlines the CFA must get UFU approval “for any policy that affects the application or operation of this agreement or the work of employees covered by (it)”.

Volunteers took to the streets of Melbourne on the weekend to protest the demands, which also included giving the union veto power over any equipment, vehicles and clothing issued by the CFA, removing much of the authoritative power of CFA volunteers, not allowing fires to be fought without seven paid firefighters first present and the eventual phasing out of volunteers.

Despite the angry reaction from CFA members, Mr Andrews’ office told the newspaper an agreement had not yet been reached and the government was working to solve the issue “for both career firefighters and volunteers”.

Yet, angry CFA members have been swamping Labor MPs with angry letters and emails, causing them to fear the repercussions of the Andrews government folding to union demands.

There are about 60,000 CFA volunteer firefighters across Victoria, with many country fire stations comprised solely of volunteers.

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