South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS) firefighters place their lives at significant risk as first responders and rely upon properly funded, provisioned and maintained MFS appliances, training and equipment resources for their safety and protection and that of the community.
The most recent productivity commission statistics show that in 4 out of the last 10 South Australian state budgets, funding to the Fire Service sector has been cut. For example, funding for the SAMFS in 2018/19 was shown to be almost $30 per person less than the equivalent per person measure Australia-wide. The effect of these cuts means that;
- over half of the SAMFS fleet is more than 15 years old, with a number of regional appliances more than 30 years old;
- SAMFS do not have enough spare fire trucks to cover break downs, repairs and maintenance
- Only 55% of MFS appliances have the much-needed burn over protection systems (BOPS) necessary to save member lives during bushfires
So, it is extremely concerning to note that with funding to the South Australian Fire Service sector having endured successive cuts over the last 10 years, it is now placed consistently below funding levels when compared to other fire service organisations Australia-wide.
The UFUSA has a long and proud history of advocating for the provision of properly funded and improved resources with the support of the MFS.
Our Resource Campaign is about seeking to redress this underfunding and impress upon the Marshall State Government the urgent need for proper funding of SAMFS appliances, equipment, training, resourcing and support. Our campaign actions encompass political, public, and industrial campaigning to achieve our objective of addressing these severe inadequacies. Delegations of firefighters are currently visiting local MPs in their electorate offices to explain why this Resourcing Campaign is so critical for the safety of the South Australian public and for firefighters and the MFS.
In July 2019 the UFUSA surveyed members ahead of enterprise bargaining negotiations with resourcing identified by members as a key issue.
Since the start of negotiations in October 2019 the MFS and SA Government has persistently obstructed all the UFUSA’s attempts to put resourcing on the table for discussion.
So, after almost a year of very difficult negotiations, UFUSA members unanimously resolved on 28 October 2020 to commence industrial action in support of improved funding, appliances, resourcing, training and equipment.
Your support is vital to the success of our Campaign. We are connected through social media so it would be great if you can follow us on Facebook, show your support and encourage your family and friends as well.
Also please feel free to access these links below for additional information.