Hopes for resolution in the ‘coming days’

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HANDS OFF: Thousands of CFA volunteers and their families - including 60 from Wangaratta, Benalla and Mansfield - rallied in Melbourne earlier this month to protest the proposed EBA agreement.

FIREFIGHTERS and volunteer CFA members are still waiting for a resolution after months of disputes over a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

The wait continues after no decision was made at a Victorian Government cabinet meeting on Monday afternoon, but a statement from Emergency Services Minster Jane Garrett indicated a resolution could be reached in “coming days”.

Negotiations for the EBA have stretched on past six months, with the CFA, Minister Garrett and the CFA Board vehemently opposed to several clauses put forward by the United Firefighters Union.

Among the chief concerns in the proposal is a clause giving the union power of veto over the CFA, effectively giving the union control of volunteer firefighters.

There is also concern about the need for seven paid firefighters to attend an incident scene – something that will not be introduced in Wangaratta due to the smaller size of the fire brigade – and how operational tasks will be completed between volunteers and career firefighters.

The board has also argued that some of the clauses might breach equal opportunity laws.

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