New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union

Welcome



Welcome to the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union.

The NZPFU is a key partner with the Fire Service in delivering the Fire Service's strategic vision of reducing the incidence and consequence of fire and to provide a professional response to other emergencies.

NZPFU representatives are based on all career fire stations. There are also 19 Union Locals in the major metropolitan and principal centres where career firefighters are employed.




Jul 27 2016

Newsletter to Members - 27 July 2016

Newsletter to Members - 27 July 2016

Superannuation

The following message from Denis Fitzmaurice is repeated for your information.

By 1 December 2016, all registered superannuation schemes such as FireSuper must have transferred to the new Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMC Act) regime. The current plan is that FireSuper will transition to the new regime towards the end of September.

Before the transition can occur, a number of changes will need to be made. Some of these, such as changes to FireSuper’s trust deed and other documentation, will be operational and behind the scenes.

More noticeable will be the establishment of a new trustee company in place of the current individual trustees. The current trustees will become director of the trustee company and their responsibilities will remain largely unchanged. The Commission and the Union will each continue to appoint three directors and those six directors will appoint an independent trustee, who will also be the licensed independent trustee, as required by the FMC Act.

Another change is that the scheme’s current investment statement will be replaced by a new product disclosure statement. The FMC Act sets out the information that must be included in the product disclosure statement and limits it to a maximum of 6,000 words or 12 pages.

The FMC Act shortens the timeframes within which FireSuper’s annual review information must be issued. From 2017 onwards, the annual report and financial statements will need to be completed by the end of July and benefit statements issued by the end of June.

While strengthen the governance and general protection for members, these changes will have no significant impact on members or their benefits.

Absence Management

The Fire Service is in the process of rolling out their Absence Management Policy. The Policy has taken a long time to develop and the absence rates now are far lower than they were when the Policy development commenced.

If anyone experiences any problems or concerns about the implementation of this Policy as it affects them – please immediately document what occurred and forward this to your Local Secretary.

The Union needs to know how, when, were and why problems or concern with the implementation of the Policy is occurring and we need to know ASAP.

If we don’t know, we can’t try to fix things.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-27-July-2016 PDF icon

    NTM-27-July-2016.pdf | pdf | 320 KB | Last Changed: 27/07/2016 11:40am


Jul 19 2016

Newsletter to Members - 19 July 2016

Newsletter to Members - 19 July 2016

IFE Payments

As previously advised the Union (Derek Best and the Union Lawyer Peter Cranney) met with the Fire Service in mediation on the matter of IFE Payments. The application lodged in the Employment Relations Authority has been referred to mediation.

In the course of the mediation, it was clear that the Fire Service were adamant that they would only pay the respective IFE Payments to those who have qualified by examination.

They were strongly opposed to paying the allowances to those who had obtained the qualification simply by cross-crediting Fire Service qualifications.

The argument essentially was that this was double dipping. The Fire Service already make a payment for those who obtain the S.O. qualification and to also receive the IFE payment for the same qualification is double dipping.

The Union does not see things as simple as this. There are additional requirements than simply being S.O. qualified in order to obtain an IFE qualification.

Given there was no agreement reached at the mediation the Parties are to continue discussion as to how the IFE allowance Payments will be made.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-july-19- PDF icon

    NTM-july-19-.pdf | pdf | 203 KB | Last Changed: 19/07/2016 3:22pm


Jul 04 2016

Newsletter to Members - 4 July 2016

Newsletter to Members - 4 July 2016

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill

A major work for the Union over the next few weeks will be a detailed consideration of this Bill and leading to the development of a submission from the Union to the Select Committee.

This is a complex and lengthy piece of legislation. The timeframe for submissions is not yet available – we will advise members when this is known.

The Union will need assistance of members in developing our submission. There is a real need for co-ordination of comment on the Bill.

Already with only a preliminary look there are a number of issues of significant concern with the Bill. The Union supports the underlying principles behind the change – the merging of existing services and legislation that recognises the expanding role of the Fire Service. However, as we have said – the detail is critical – how things will be done.

It is this detail that our submission to the Select Committee will inevitably be focused on. After reading the Bill, do not hesitate to forward to the Union any issues, concerns or comments you might have. All this will be considered as the Union develops its submission.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-4-July-2016 PDF icon

    NTM-4-July-2016.pdf | pdf | 41 KB | Last Changed: 04/07/2016 1:07pm


Jun 17 2016

Newsletter to Members - 17 June 2016

Newsletter to Members - 17 June 2016

2016 Market Rate Review – to take effect 1 July 2016

Clause 2.6.2.2 of the Collective agreement requires the Union and the Fire Service to review Market Data (provided by Hay Group) and discuss and agree the remuneration rates to apply from 1 July 2016. The following is the outcome.

  • An increase of 1.00% for Firefighters rates (with the exception of grand-parented rates in tables 7B and 7C).
  • An increase of 0.5% for Officers, plus the final 2.5% catch-up – gives a total of 3.00%.
  • Remuneration rates for Communicators (1%) and Shift Managers (3%)
  • Allowances in Part 1 and Part 5 increased by 2%

The updated TWW also include an increase in the overtime rates for

  • Firefighters to 1.33 times the hourly rate for the first 3 hours of all overtime worked on a week day, and before 12pm on a Saturday.
  • Officers to 1.3% times the hourly rate for the first 3 hours of all overtime worked on a week day, and before 12pm on a Saturday.
  • For existing overtime at 1.5 the hourly rate will continue for all overtime on a Public Holiday.

It is planned that the new pay rates will be made on the payday 6 July 2016.
For rates on various transition rates (Part 3 and Part 4) the following will apply.

  • All Part 3 rates will move to the new substantive step for their current grade.
  • All Part 4 F.S.O, Trainers and VSO’s will move to the new substantive rate for their current step.
  • All Part 4 S FSO and Trainers on transition Step 3 will move to the new substantive Step 3.
  • All Part 4 S FSO and Trainers on transition Steps 4 and 5 will move to the new transition steps 4 and 5. The Transition Step has been retained for Step 4 and 5 as the new substantive rates are more than 6% higher. The transition step provides a maximum 5 % increase (effects 8 staff).

The Fire Service will provide an explanation letter (along the lines of that provided 12 months ago) for all those moving off transition steps and those moving on transition steps.

Available for download are various new Pay Tables

The Market Rate from Hay Group showed an increase in the Grade 13 rate (the S.FF. benchmark) of 0.79%. The increase for the Grade 15 (S.O benchmark) was 0.46%.
These amounts after discussion, have been rounded up to 1% and 0.5% respectively.
The outcome will be considered disappointing – however with any Benchmarking or Relativity link there will be good years and bad years – swings and roundabouts.

The Market Data provided is what it is. A historical comparison demonstrates this. 

Senior Firefighter Station Officers Combined Average
6.2% 9.9% Plus 7% Transition Payment 8.9% excluding Transition Payment

For 2013 – 2016 

CPI March quarter Labour Cost Index Public Sector Private Sector
2.9% 6.6% 5.3% 7.1%

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-17-June-16 PDF icon

    NTM-17-June-16.pdf | pdf | 764 KB | Last Changed: 17/06/2016 1:43pm


Jun 07 2016

Newsletter to Members - 7 June 2016

Newsletter to Members - 7 June 2016

Research Survey – Dick Thornton-Grimes

Massey University student Dick Thornton-Grimes has approached the NZPFU providing information on some independent and anonymous research survey he is conducting for those stations that have an appliance equipped with an Impact Pro gas detector as part of his degree studies. 

This is not our survey however we do support it and would encourage members to be involved.

Members can expect Dick to email them during week commencing the 13 June 2016 with an external email with a survey doclink from the email account dtg.masseyuni@gmail.com. If you have queries please contact Dick directly on dtg.masseyuni@gmail.com.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-Dick-Thornton-Grimes PDF icon

    NTM-Dick-Thornton-Grimes.pdf | pdf | 245 KB | Last Changed: 07/06/2016 1:32pm


May 06 2016

Newsletter to Members - 5 May 2016

Newsletter to Members - 5 May 2016

Review

Further to the information in the last Newsletter.

Both Paul Swain (Chair of the Commission) and Paul Baxter (CE/NC) attended the Union Committee meeting this week to discuss further the Review.

Arising from the discussion, the Union was asked to provide to the Commission key issues that must be address.

Given that almost all the detail is still to be specifically considered and addressed, the Unions key issues relate to the need to develop a detailed road map for progress to include time lines and structure for consultation.

Key personnel need to be appointed and the appropriate working parties established with clear terms of reference and time lines.

The Union were given assurances that we would be properly involved in the development of the Transition.

IFE

Further to previous updates the Union has been advised that the Employment Relations Authority has set down 20th June to hear this matter.

Union Compensation Scheme

For some time the Union has been aware that on renewal of the Scheme (as at April 2016) Premiums must increase.

A simple look at 2014 and 2015 results shows that for both years just under $200,000 was collected in Premiums.

Payments for claims in 2014 was $300,000 and in 2015, $400,000.

After going to tender and considerable negotiation the present Insurer (Sovereign) provided the best prices. The quotes were based on the current benefit structure (including total and permanent disability) of $18.97 (an increase of $8.33 per fortnight).

For death benefit only - $14.96 (an increase of $4.32 per fortnight).

In considering the two options, as well as the magnitude of the increase, the Committee were aware that almost all of the claims over the past few years have been death claims.

Consequently the Committee determined to accept the quote for the death cover only. The consequent increase in Premiums will occur in 6 months’ time – 1 September. The increase will be to $14.96 per fortnight.

Wellington Office Manager

Members are advised that Wendy Devenport has been employed as Pam Boyd’s replacement in the Wellington office.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-5-5-16 PDF icon

    NTM-5-5-16.pdf | pdf | 218 KB | Last Changed: 06/05/2016 1:34am


Apr 29 2016

Newsletter to Members - 29 April 2016

Newsletter to Members - 29 April 2016

Fire Service Review

Today the Minister announced more details on the Review.

The Union was present yesterday at a full brief (along with around 60 others) provided by the Minister and Officials from both the Fire Service and Department of Internal Affairs.

  • New organisation – Fire and Emergency NZ – is expected to formally come into existence on 1 July 2017.

  • The new organisation will merge the New Zealand Fire Service, 38 rural fire authorities and the National Rural Fire Authority.

  • All members will transfer to the new organisation on all existing wages and conditions. There will effectively be no change from 30 June 2017 and 1 July 2017.

  • New funding of $303 million over five years is provided to combine urban and rural fire services.
    • $191 million of operating funding over 3 years is to be spent on present funding gaps – Particularly in the Rural area
    • $112 million will be available to spend on moving to the new organisation.
  • Legislation to effect the change will be introduced within the next three months.

  • A transition committee of the Commission will be established and a Transition Director will be appointed.

    The Union understand a transition office headed by this Director will be established and will have a number of staff. It is further expected there will be significant on-going consultation with the Union over all aspects of detail, with the Transition office.
  • More detailed information is available from

Days in Lieu

The union is advised that the Fire Service has completed the work regarding correcting Leave entitlements and balances will be adjusted shortly. The Fire Service also advised that the work to correct payments will also be completed shortly and payments made.

Please contact the Union if you have any concerns regarding your situation.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NEWSLETTER-TO-MEMBERS-29-April PDF icon

    NEWSLETTER-TO-MEMBERS-29-April.pdf | pdf | 40 KB | Last Changed: 29/04/2016 3:06pm


Mar 31 2016

Newsletter to Members - 31 March 2016

Newsletter to Members - 31 March 2016

IFE Payment

The Dispute has been lodged with the Employment Relations Authority. The Union is expecting to be referred in the first instance to mediation.

Alternative Holidays – for working on a Public Holiday

This matter has been referred to in previous Newsletters. The Fire Service are presently working though all those who worked on Public Holidays since Christmas/New Year – particularly when these Holidays were Mondayised.

Given the number involved and the different circumstances that apply (i.e. Call-outs, overtime), this is taking a little time so as to ensure accuracy.

Holiday Pay

Members will have heard in the Media of extensive problems with the payment for Holiday Pay.

The Union has looked at this closely and has had in-depth discussion with our Lawyers, who have spoken with others potentially affected.

You will know that as far as payment for Annual Leave, a Holiday Pay supplement is made (which recognises particularly overtime worked). So, the Union sees that the major problem identified elsewhere, is not an issue for us.

However confused provisions exist in the Holiday Act relating to payments for Public Holidays, Sick Leave and Bereavement Leave. The Union is exploring this further (and also the basis of the Holiday Pay supplement) with our Lawyers and with the Fire Service.

Weekend Penal Rates

The Union is advised that a number of staff at the Three Auckland DHB’s, (e.g. Occupational, Therapists, Sterile Supplies) are facing demands from their Employer to claw back weekend Penal Rates for new Union members.

Such payments are a vital and significant amount that makes up the pay of Firefighters. Therefore it is concerning that a significant employer of shift workers is demanding this claw back. These workers will be taking Strike Action beginning on 8 April at 10.00am outside the Auckland DHB. Given their fight does have potential implications for Firefighters, the Union is sure there striking workers would appreciate support – whether that’s joining their picket or demonstrating solidarity with their cause.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-No-3-31-March-16 PDF icon

    NTM-No-3-31-March-16.pdf | pdf | 226 KB | Last Changed: 31/03/2016 3:29pm


Mar 04 2016

In Loving Memory of Pam Boyd

In Loving Memory of Pam Boyd

pam boyd 2

The Boyd family would like to thank all at the Union for their support and kind messages for Pam after her untimely passing.

There were so many kind words of support from all around the country, particularly many Local Secretaries. There was also a fabulous presence from the Union at her funeral. Many of you took the time to talk to us and say how much Pam meant to you and the Union. It was so great how important she was and how she played a major part in where the Union is placed today.

Anne Higgins from the Auckland office attended, Pete Nicolle was a pallbearer and Derek Best spoke at Pam’s funeral. Everyone offered wonderful support for the family over this trying time and we thank you all.

Grant & Sam Boyd.

Documents: (Click to view)

    In-Loving-Memory-of-Pam-Boyd PDF icon

    In-Loving-Memory-of-Pam-Boyd.pdf | pdf | 211 KB | Last Changed: 04/03/2016 3:24pm


Mar 03 2016

Newsletter to Members - 3 March 2015

Newsletter to Members - 3 March 2015

Available for download is an agreed notice regarding the treating of how people were paid for Statutory Holidays over Christmas/ New Year and Waitangi day.

The rectification of the error will take more time to complete - accuracy is vital.

Members will be updated on progress being made.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-No2-3-march-16 PDF icon

    NTM-No2-3-march-16.pdf | pdf | 186 KB | Last Changed: 03/03/2016 7:08pm


    National-Notice-Mondayisation PDF icon

    National-Notice-Mondayisation.pdf | pdf | 228 KB | Last Changed: 03/03/2016 7:08pm


news + links