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Fed govt vows to block CFA pay deal

AAP logoAAP 14/08/2016 By Helen Velissaris

Volunteer firefighters have been assured by the federal government the controversial CFA pay deal will be quashed when parliament resumes.

Federal MP Michaelia Cash has promised to amend the Fair Work Act as a "matter of urgency" once parliament returns on August 30.

Writing to Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria's chief executive Andrew Ford, Ms Cash said by amending the act, enterprise bargaining agreements won't have the power to compromise the operations of volunteer-based emergency services.

"The amendment will render ineffective any such terms in the proposed agreement, regardless of whether the agreement comes into effect before or after the amendment is passed," the employment minister wrote in the letter released on Sunday.

The CFA board on Friday endorsed an amended enterprise bargaining agreement that will now head to employees and union members to be voted on.

VFBV says it has not been consulted over the agreement, and has resumed legal action over the deal.

They filed an extension to an existing Supreme Court injunction on Wednesday.

"The consultation process was a sham - the issues raised by VFBV on behalf of volunteers were in reality ignored," the VFBV said in a statement on Sunday.

The CFA board denies the claims, saying it "consulted extensively" with the VFBV and has "worked to address their concerns" before making its decision.

It took eight weeks for the new board to endorse the CFA deal, after the previous board was sacked by the government for refusing to send the proposal to a vote.

Now the deal has been endorsed it will go to United Firefighters Union members for a vote and then needs to be ratified by the Fair Work Commission.

Ms Cash also vowed to intervene in any application to the Fair Work Commission to approve the agreement.

"It is the government's very strong view that the agreement, as approved by the board, fails to address the very serious concerns raised by VFBV and others in relation to the limits it would place on the CFA to properly manage its affairs and deal with emergencies," she said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vowed to block the deal if he won the election.

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