Progress of Action 2.4

Action 2.4: Finalise relevant enterprise bargaining agreements, including the FRV Operational Staff Enterprise Agreement; FRV Professional, Technical and Administrative Staff Agreement; FRV Corporate and Technical Staff Agreement; and FRV Mechanical Engineering Workshops Agreement.

Action objective: Agreements are managed through appropriate channels, involving all key stakeholders, ensuring that staff are valued and supported.

Lead agency: FRV

Year Two to Five Plan (November 2021) completion dateYear Two to Five Plan (updated May 2023) completion dateAgency reported status as at 30 June 2023
June 2022June 2024In progress – minor delays

Context

This action requires FRV to negotiate and implement three EAs:

  1. Fire Rescue Victoria Corporate and Technical Employees Agreement (the FRV Corporate EA).
  2. Fire Rescue Victoria Operational Employees Interim Enterprise Agreement 2020 (the FRV Operational EA).
  3. Fire Rescue Victoria Mechanical Engineering Workshops Agreement 2020.

Progress summary

In FY 2022-23, the Minister approved FRV’s change request to extend the due date for this action to June 2024, as bargaining for the three remaining agreements would not be completed by the original due date.

The FRV People and Culture Team is responsible for this program of work and reports to the FRV ELT. FRV, in accordance with the Wages Policy, meets regularly with DJCS, Department of Treasury and Finance and Industrial Relations Victoria to ensure appropriate oversight of the bargaining process.[16]

1. Fire Rescue Victoria Corporate and Technical Employees Agreement

The FRV Corporate EA replaced the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) Corporate and Technical Employees Agreement 2017 and the CFA Professional, Technical and Administrative Agreement 2016. The FRV Corporate EA also combines the FRV Corporate and Technical Staff Agreement and the FRV Professional, Technical and Administrative Staff Agreement.

FRV obtained approval from government to commence bargaining in November 2021 and subsequently notified employees. As at 30 June 2023, negotiations were continuing, including the resolution of bargaining disputes which arose.[17]

FSIM observes that FRV is behind the formal bargaining agreements schedule.

2. Fire Rescue Victoria Operational Employees Interim Enterprise Agreement 2020

The structure of the FRV Operational EA is intended to provide the foundations for ongoing harmonisation of the agreement in future negotiations and will comprise three sections:

  1. Common / harmonised clauses relating to Division A (former MFB) and Division B (former CFA).
  2. Specific clauses relating to Division A staff (former MFB) and new FRV staff only.
  3. Specific clauses relating to Division B staff only.

FRV obtained approval from the government to commence bargaining in December 2021 and subsequently notified employees that bargaining would commence. Parties held their first bargaining meeting on 26 April 2022. As at 30 June 2023, negotiations were continuing, including the resolution of bargaining disputes which arose.

FSIM observes that FRV are behind the planned schedule regarding continued formal bargaining meetings.

FRV’s longer-term intention is to continue to harmonise Division A and Division B entitlements over time. FRV defines ‘harmonisation’ as harmonising similar key clauses in sections 2 and 3 of the FRV Operational EA. FRV advised FSIM that once the FRV Operational EA is agreed, it will develop a project plan to implement the harmonisation changes, including implementing a single payroll system for Division A and Division B staff.

3. Fire Rescue Victoria Mechanical Engineering Workshops Agreement 2020

The FWC approved the Fire Rescue Victoria Mechanical Engineering Workshops Agreement 2020 in February 2021.

Findings

FSIM finds action 2.4 is progressing with minor delays.



Footnotes

[16] Premier and Cabinet, 2023, Wages policy and the enterprise bargaining framework: For Victorian Government departments and agencies, Victorian Government, Melbourne, viewed 11 October 2023, https://www.vic.gov.au/wages-policy-and-enterprise-bargaining-framework>

[17] Information regarding the disputes can be found at the Fair Work Commission website https://www.fwc.gov.au/

Updated