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Joint HR, Welfare and OH&S Committee - 2 Minute Briefing May 2014

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VFBV/CFA Joint HR, Welfare and OH&S Committee

2 Minute Briefing

Issue 9: May 2014

WELLBEING PILOT

The committee received a briefing on the Wellbeing Pilot that is being funded through the Volunteer Support Program. This pilot will see 10 specialist people hired to provide brigades with direct support for mental health & relationship management. This encompasses aspects such as physiological first aid, and includes assisting with behavioural and interpersonal conflict issues which sometimes arise within brigades.

The Wellbeing Pilot Project is not designed to replace the very important role of CIS Peers but will operate at a higher level of support for CFA members. In conjunction with the member concerned, Peers may in fact choose to make a referral to the Intake & Triage Support Officer to provide more specialist support. It is anticipated that this specialist support will enable Operational Leaders to be more focused on their role of protecting lives and property.

The discussion provided the committee the opportunity to discuss VFBV concerns around the centralized model proposed by the pilot, and the philosophical argument that member welfare and wellbeing should be seen by the organisation as core business. VFBV is very supportive of this program and its outcomes but consider the care of members to be at the core of CFA’s business and funding, and not (as is the case currently) to be the subject of opportunistic funding through the Volunteer Support Program. The committee will be closely monitoring the evaluation of this program and have requested to be actively & regularly engaged during the pilot period in order to inform the final evaluation of the pilot early next year.

All cases will be managed confidentially, and CFA will shortly be advertising the service and contact number. VFBV delegates have requested CFA to ensure all brigades are included in the communique, and not to rely solely on the CFA intranet to make members aware of what is available.

VFBV WELFARE & EFFICIENCY SURVEY

The VFBV Welfare and Efficiency Survey will be conducted for the third time in June. The survey should be live by the time this edition goes to press, or shortly thereafter.

This very important survey is an opportunity for volunteers to be able to provide feedback on how they perceive many aspects of their involvement as a CFA volunteer. The results of this survey are taken very seriously at all levels within CFA and are used in most Districts to guide change and improve performance and relationships across the organisation. The committee has agreed to work together to monitor the results, and champion initiatives aimed at addressing the concerns raised by Volunteers.

There are 33 questions in the survey which takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Your answers are confidential and are used to advise both the CFA and Government on a range of issues that affect volunteers.

Please encourage as many volunteers as you can to visit the VFBV website at www.vfbv.com.au to complete the survey.

Alternatively members can choose to contact the VFBV Office on (03) 9886 1141 for a hard copy to be posted to you.

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CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.

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