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2014 VFBV Volunteer Survey - Cooperation

Within the Cooperation theme, the poorest performing aspect relates to how volunteers feel about the way they are consulted and involved in decision making at the CFA corporate level.

Despite improvements in the performances scores for all four statements in this theme in 2014, scores for this theme are generally low for both 2013 and 2014 results as compared to the rest of the survey.

The statement “volunteers are effectively consulted and involved in decision making at CFA Corporate level” had the lowest performance score of the survey in 2013 and created the largest gap, however the gap score against this statement has improved. In 2014 this statement ranked second lowest in performance scores and had the second largest gap score, therefore is still an issue of concern for volunteers and should be an equal issue of concern for CFA.

It is important to note however, this aspect also shows the best improvement since the 2012 survey, indicating that whilst volunteers still feel there is a lot more to be done – things are improving.

The survey results confirm volunteers place a high value on being consulted and involved in decision making at all levels of CFA and expect CFA to perform well in this area. Volunteers’ place a very high importance on all CFA people (volunteer and paid staff at all organisational levels) working cooperatively towards shared goals.

The written survey responses in this theme discuss issues relating to perceptions of volunteer poor treatment and lack of respect from paid CFA staff. A common theme is about CFA staff attitude to volunteers on integrated stations, and in some cases the conduct of Operations Officers in the field. Negative comments are also made in regard to CFA management’s lack of connection with volunteers.

Some survey responses also refer to an established ‘them and us’ culture amongst CFA paid staff and volunteers, manifesting in the service and treatment of paid staff at major incidents as compared to volunteers.

A significant improvement in the performance score over the past three years has seen the gap reduce from 3.2 to 2.5. This improvement is mainly influenced by the decrease in the 2014 gap scores for the statements “volunteers are effectively consulted and involved in decision making at CFA corporate level” and “CFA’s workforce arrangements allow the paid staff and volunteers to work cooperatively as a team”.

Survey result variations between Regions show West and North East Region gap scoring less than the other Regions, it would be insightful to explore the factors or initiatives underpinning this result.


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Read 14636 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:59
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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