ASU members met recently to discuss their concerns about the ongoing cultural problems at CFA. Recent media reports have highlighted what we have all known for a long time – CFA has significant problems with gender equality and sexual harassment.

Following that meeting, ASU representatives, including Branch Secretary Lisa Darmanin, met with CFA CEO Natalie MacDonald and Chief Officer Jason Heffernan.

We sought commitments that they take decisive steps to address the cultural problems at CFA, including a fresh review of bullying and sexual harassment, and a new process for handling complaints.

We also sought agreement on a collaborative approach to the implementation of the new Gender Equality Act.

We are pleased to report that we got a good hearing, and CFA agreed and we will speak again in the next couple of days to follow up on actions coming from the meeting.

At Tuesday’s member’s meeting, there was interest in establishing a new ASU CFA Gender Equality Network. This network will take the lead on ensuring improvements to the working lives of women are made utilising the new powers under the Gender Equality Act. It has been proposed that this network would form a crucial part of the ASU Fire & Emergency Sub-Group.

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