The Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) negotiated by the United Firefighter’s Union of Australia, West Australian Branch just after the current Government was elected in 2017 officially expires today, 9 June 2020.
Among other things, the expiring EBA compels both DFES and the UFU to start negotiating its replacement at least 6 months prior to today but evidently because of COVID-19, the next EBA won’t be agreed for at least another 10 days on 19 June. In an Operational Circular, DFES has declared a Government commitment to preserve the operative date of the new EBA, stating:
“This means that wage increases will be backdated if the replacement agreement is registered at a later date. This allows the parties to continue discussions without disadvantaging employees.”
As you can see in the full text of the Circular below, the Department aims to make a “formal offer” to the Union by 19 June.
OPERATIONAL CIRCULAR 36/2020
PRESERVATION OF THE OPERATIVE DATE FOR THE WA FIRE SERVICE EBA
Government has committed to preserving the operative date of a replacement Western Australia Fire Service Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (WAFEBA) and the Department aims to make an offer by 19 June 2020.
What is happening?
The WAFEBA 2017 expires on 9 June 2020. To date, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services has been unable to make a formal offer due to the effects COVID-19 has had on external processes and negotiations with the United Professional Firefighters Union.
In light of the effects of COVID-19 the Government has committed to preserving the operative date of the replacement agreement. This means that wage increases will be backdated if the replacement agreement is registered at a later date. This allows the parties to continue discussions without disadvantaging employees.
A conference held in the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission on 4 June 2020 allowed both parties to convey their understanding of the progress of negotiations with the Department advising it is aiming to make a formal offer by 19 June 2020.
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OPERATIONS