United Fire Fighters Union Of South Australia
Message from the State Secretary
2021 is the UN International Year of Peace and Trust with notably the leading internationally determined properties of Trust including Integrity, Competence, Reliability, Accountability, and Loyalty.
In our commitment to service to our community, UFUSA members personify and are widely recognised for all of these attributes and so much more.
I’m proud that today they are also attributes of our Union’s strength and solidarity and you can be sure that our Union will continue to proclaim those strengths in our advocacy for the maintenance and advancement of members’ industrial conditions through 2021 and into the future.
HELP US TO HELP YOU
Firefighters need your support to ensure the Marshall Government provides adequate funding to the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service so we can do our job of protecting life and property in South Australia in a safe manner.
We are asking you to sign our petition telling the Marshall Government that firefighters have your support and need to be appropriately resourced to do their job of protecting life and property!
The United Firefighters Union of South Australia is a small, but vital Union, which represents the interest of professional firefighters in South Australia. It is a Union committed to the cause of establishing a better fire service, not only for its members, but also for the community which it serves. The Union was formed in July 1986 after the amalgamation of the Fire Brigade Officers Association and Fire Firefighters Association of South Australia.
The Formative Years
From the early 1900’s through to the early 1970’s the Officers and Firefighters were a small and neglected part of a Union known as the Australian Government Workers’ Association (SA). The AGWA is now part of the Miscellaneous Workers’ Union. In the many years that we were part of the AGWA, services that were provided to Firefighters were inferior in nature compared to their Victorian counterparts.
Firefighters and Officers in South Australia in the late 60’s and early 70’s quickly became dissatisfied with the services that were being provided by the AGWA and consequently broke away from that Union to form two separate organisations, one representing Officers and the other representing Firefighters. It was unfortunate that the split away from the AGWA wasn’t a united one, however, the Officers and Firefighters continued to work closely together between 1971 and 1986, which saw a period of great activity in South Australia. Within a short period of time wages and conditions of Officers and Firefighters in South Australia quickly moved from the lower quartile to the upper quartile and happily we remain in that position today. As a result of a number of intense industrial disputes, great improvements were also made to the superannuation benefits of Officers and Firefighters.
During this period of intense activity on the part of the two Associations, the Fire Brigades’ Board of South Australia adopted a confrontationist role and everything that was claimed by the two Associations was generally resisted by the Board. Consequently, in the late 70’s, early 80’s, the two Associations found themselves locked into a mortal battle with the Fire Brigades’ Board and the upshot of that battle was that the two Associations were able to convince the Tonkin Liberal Government to disband the Fire Brigades’ Board in favour of a Chief Executive Officer from the ranks, to head up the South Australian Fire Service. This was done in late 1981 and early in 1982 Mr Allan Bruce, from the New Zealand Fire Service was appointed as Chief Officer of the newly formed SA Metropolitan Fire Service.
The reforms that occurred under the leadership of Allan Bruce in full and close co-operation with the Union saw the Fire Service being transferred from one of the worst in Australia to clearly one of the best. The Headquarters building that was occupied in 1984 was the best such building in Australia and of itself symbolised the very great changes that occurred in the SA Metropolitan Fire Service.
Public drilling by D shift in the city on Friday, 15 January 2021 ensured an eventful day in which our union had the opportunity to inform our community about the critical issues confronting firefighters on a daily basis and the refusal by the employer to even discuss the concerns for over a year now.