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.




Sep 23 2016

Auckland City Fire Area - Fire Risk Manager Secondment

Auckland City Fire Area - Fire Risk Manager Secondment

Attached is an Area vacancy for the position of Fire Risk Manager for the Auckland City Fire Area for a period of two months.

The Union strongly recommends to members that no-one applies for this vacancy.

The Union expresses its direction to members on the basis of concerns it has about issues relating to the position.

Currently there is one Union member stood down from his role in this department and there is also a second Union member who has relocated from working within this department and works within the Regional Office.

It would be the Union’s position that until such time as the current matters, which are subject to concern within this department, are resolved, members should not take up the secondment position.

It is disappointing that Area Management have not consulted with the Union regarding the advertising of this secondment.  Given the involvement of Assistant Area Manager Dave Woon in the events occurring within this department, although disappointing, it is not surprising that he has chosen to ignore the Union and seek any joint consultation on this matter.

The Union’s position is very clear that no member should apply and take up this position.

If any member has currently submitted an application, then they should immediately withdraw this.

Documents: (Click to view)

    Area-Vacancies PDF icon

    Area-Vacancies.pdf | pdf | 243 KB | Last Changed: 23/09/2016 4:51pm


Sep 22 2016

Newsletter to Members - 22 September 2016

Newsletter to Members - 22 September 2016

Fire and Emergency N.Z. Bill

Available for download is a copy of the Union Submission on the Bill.

The Submission was presented to the Select Committee on Wednesday 21 September and verbal submissions were made in support.

The Union was given 45 minutes before the Select Committee to make its presentation (usually Submission are given 15 minutes).

The Submission (which speaks for itself) was well received and Select Committee members appeared well aware of the various concerns the Union raised.

Transition - Delegate Meeting

The Union has organised, in conjunction with the Transition Office, a meeting of Delegates (essentially a Conference) for 23 September, for Delegates to both obtain further information and provide comments on the Transition to FENZ.

Paul Swain, Paul Baxter, David Strong (Director – Transition Project) and other senior officials of the Transition Office will be in attendance and will present to Delegates.

Every Local will have representation at this meeting and will be able to take back to Locals the most up to date and relevant information.

Secondments

Further to the information provided in the last Newsletter.

Subsequent to that Newsletter, the Transition Office was in quick contact with the Union. Arising out of the discussion, the Union asked the Transition Office to provide a proposal as to what they saw as appropriate for those accepting a Secondment to the Transition Office.

Unfortunately what they came back with was hardly satisfactory.

  • Very vague over actual day to day work arrangements
  • Fixed term role
  • But not 100% full time
  • Dependant on the Operational impacts of releasing someone from their substantial role – these are considerations for the person’s manager.
  • There will be a schedule of work required within a specified set time period.
  • Return to your role at the conclusion of the Secondment.
  • You will receive no less than your current remuneration.
  • You will not be ‘out of pocket’ on the Secondment.
  • The Secondment ends when the work no longer requires input or in need of the FENZ Project or the person changes.

Anyone accepting a Secondment on the basis of the above vague arrangements would be foolish indeed.

The Union has advised the Transition Office that these arrangements are unsatisfactory. Given the Transition Office seems unable to come up with a detailed Secondment proposal/arrangement – let alone Conditions that would attract applicants – the Union will further develop a proposal.

Our advice therefore in the previous Newsletter still stands.

  • If you are interested. Put in an expression of interest.
  • Refer the Transition Office to the Union as regarding the detail of a Secondment offer.

Investigation into students attending the Canberra Institute of Technology

Arising out of another investigation, the Fire Service have determined to investigate students who have participated in Canberra Institute of Technology courses (essentially Fire Safety Officers).

The Union sees this as some sort of wild goose chase that has nothing underpinning its necessity.

The Union is not aware of any concerns expressed by the Canberra Institute and one would expect any investigation into alleged impropriety with an academic Institution to at least involve that Institution.

Management have appointed a lawyer, Richard Fowler, to conduct this Investigation.

The Union would strongly recommend any members approached by Richard Fowler to have nothing to do with any investigation. 

Documents: (Click to view)

    Submission-of-NZPFU-to-Government-Administration-Select-Committee PDF icon

    Submission-of-NZPFU-to-Government-Administration-Select-Committee.pdf | pdf | 457 KB | Last Changed: 22/09/2016 2:01pm


Sep 12 2016

Secondment to FENZ Transition Office – Be Careful

Secondment to FENZ Transition Office – Be Careful

Why

Because the FENZ Director and workstream leads have absolutely no knowledge of the Fire Service, its operational functions, the culture – basically how the Fire Service operates.

They need you to provide this institutional knowledge and expertise – they want to take your intellectual property. And it looks like these people who are being paid thousands of dollars a week want to take your intellectual property for free.

Union Involvement

The Union have been told that Firefighters representation (the Union) will somehow be involved in the workstream process – but not how and/or when.

The Union was generally aware that FENZ would be seeking seconding from Operational members – but not when – and FENZ has never approached the Union to negotiate or even discuss appropriate term and conditions, FENZ claims there is a job description but the Union has never seen it.

What does this mean?

Clearly FENZ bureaucrats believe they can unilaterally impose conditions and job descriptions on Firefighters.

Well, the Union says they can’t and won’t.

Conditions like to

  • Return to work arrangements (will you have a job afterwards and what job)
  • What and to what extent will expenses be met.
  • Will you receive anything extra for your intellectual property
  • Will you receive compensation for lost overtime
  • How will your secondment affect your continuous service (for time in rank for example) or any training requirements you have.
  • What is the effect on your Superannuation, or PCA.
  • What guarantee is there, that your absence will be covered by the Fire Service by O/T. Will MSM be maintained?

And no doubt a few more.

The Union says all these things need to be negotiated and agreed collectively before the commencement of any secondment.

It is too late to come to the Union with concerns and complaints after the event.

Remember

FENZ bureaucrats need you because they know they seriously lack the necessary knowledge and expertise. They need to take your intellectual property.

The only thing in doubt is whether these very highly paid consultants steal your intellectual property or whether you get a fair reward for your intellectual property.

Conclusion

The Union very strongly recommends to any member thinking of expressing an interest in these secondments to

  • Express your interest
  • But advise the FENZ bureaucrats that they must negotiate with the Union over the terms and conditions for the secondment
  • And that you expect to see – as a result of those negotiations an agreed variation to the Collective Agreement that all members can have confidence in.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-12-Sept-16 PDF icon

    NTM-12-Sept-16.pdf | pdf | 221 KB | Last Changed: 12/09/2016 12:16pm


Aug 24 2016

Newsletter to Members - 24 August 2016

Newsletter to Members - 24 August 2016

Staying Well – Promoting Psychological Wellbeing and Resilience

The following information, put out by the Fire service, is provided for you information. Greg Lee (National Committee member) has been involved with the CIPSS team to further develop this support service.

The Critical Incident and Personal Stress Support (CIPSS) programme is being rolled out across the New Zealand Fire Service and National Rural Fire Authority. CIPSS promotes a range of options to support the psychological wellbeing and resilience of all NZFS personnel. This support includes Region Safety Wellbeing Coordinators, Peer Support, the Injury Management Unit and referral to external providers.

CIPSS presentations have been provided at Region management team meetings, Region Volunteer Leadership Conferences and are now being rolled out to Officers and Firefighters.

Two of the resources developed to support the programme include the Staying Well Guide and Managing your Wellbeing brochure and are both available on FireNet - http://firenet.fire.org.nz/Critical-Incident-and-Personal-Stress-Support-(CIPSS)/Pages/default.aspx.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-24-August-2016 PDF icon

    NTM-24-August-2016.pdf | pdf | 206 KB | Last Changed: 24/08/2016 11:20am


Aug 16 2016

Newsletter to Members - 16 August 2016

Newsletter to Members - 16 August 2016

MAN Appliances

To recognise and address the serious concerns with the MAN appliances, the Union has appointed the President to work in conjunction with Locals, Members, and the National Fleet Manager, to resolve issues raised.

This is not a quick fix, and is a genuine attempt by both parties to fix long-standing problems.

Members are asked to continue to report any faults to both the Union President and the National Fleet Manager.

We look forward to a positive outcome for members.

Aug 09 2016

Newsletter to Members - 9 August 2016

Newsletter to Members - 9 August 2016

Fire and Emergency Bill – Transition

The Union (Peter Nicolle and Derek Best) have meet with the Minister (Peter Dunne) and D.I.A Officials; the Director of the Transition office (David Strong) and various Transition Office staff, the Chief Executive/National Commander and representatives of the U.F.B.A to discuss and obtain further information on both the Bill and Transition to FENZ.

It is fair to say that many of the issues receive, at this stage, a ‘trust us’ response as so much, less than 12 months before FENZ is intended to take over, is unknown. The Union very much hopes that this situation will not continue to much longer but we have our doubts.

The formal Submission on the Bill is to be submitted by 18 August. The Submission must remain confidential until received by the Committee (when it will be put out for member’s information). However the Key points made in the Submission will include.

  1. The Union is pleased to see the overarching thrust Of the Bill – merging of Urban and Rural; updating the mandate and addressing, at least in part some of the anomaly’s with the levy. However the Union has real concerns regarding the following.
  2. Where are the guarantees regarding continued employment and continuation of the Collective Agreement and other Conditions of Employment?
  3. The Bill is very vague on Operational Command and Control – there is nothing that details who or even if there will be an Operational Head of the Service. All power is given to the (civilian) Board and they can exercise it themselves or delegate to anyone.
  4. Gratuities are only continued for existing employees
  5. P.C.A is gone to be replaced by ‘Health Standards’. The provisions for challenging a Medical Disengagement are significantly weakened.
  6. A new role of ‘Inspector’ is established and is given very substantial powers but the Bill is very vague on who, what and how they will function.

All these are expanded on in the Submission and the Union will ask to be heard by the Select Committee.

For the Union and its Officials, the Bill and Transition to FENZ really is an enormous undertaking.

Trevor Tilyard

The Union is advised by the Dunedin Local of the sudden death of Trevor Tilyard.

Trevor had a long involvement with the Dunedin Local commencing in the late 70’s. Trevor was on the Local Executive for more than 20 years during which time he held the President’s position a number of times. Trevor was a staunch supporter when members Wages and Conditions were under attack during the 90’s. In 1998 Trevor was made an Honorary Life member of the Union.

The Union conveys its condolences to Trevor’s family and friends and continues to remember Trevor’s contribution to the maintenance of Firefighter jobs and working conditions.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-9-August-2016 PDF icon

    NTM-9-August-2016.pdf | pdf | 225 KB | Last Changed: 09/08/2016 4:02pm


Aug 05 2016

Newsletter to Members - 4 August 2016

Newsletter to Members - 4 August 2016

Fire Safety Officer Survey

The Fire Service are working on ensuring the continued sustainability with regards to the provision of specialist fire investigation skills and capabilities into the future.

Consequently they are acting to collect evidence to help and understand the issues around recruiting and retaining F.S.O.

The Fire Service have developed a survey to provide further information.

The Survey has been developed with consultation with the Union, however it is fair to say the Union does not believe it adequately explore all relevant issues.

However, it is a start, and is better than the vacuum there is at present.

Consequently, the Union urges all affected members to honestly and thoroughly complete the Survey. We will have full access to the outcome.

The Survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SLNC7QC

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-4-August PDF icon

    NTM-4-August.pdf | pdf | 198 KB | Last Changed: 05/08/2016 10:42am


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


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