In addition to the information circulated in NTM No. 4, the Union can advise that papers have now been received seeking a formal Notice of Application for Interim Injunction – seeking to stop strike action and prevent unlawful picketing. A hearing is planned for 15 May 2003, with further mediation prior to the hearing.
The Fire Service has named, as the First Defendants in the action, three individual Auckland Union officials – they are:
- Michael McEnaney
- Jeffrey McCulloch
- Athol Conway
The Union is named as the Second Defendant.
As expected, the Union is preparing counter-claims and developing Affidavits in defense of the employer’s application.
Obviously with a significant number of Auckland members affected by the actions of the Fire Service – the Auckland Local officials have an extensive workload. We are aware that many members in Auckland are assisting with the process.
Some of the Court documents, which the Fire Service has served, make reference to rostering procedures and the ability of individual firefighters to either accept or decide to not undertake voluntary overtime shifts.
In effect, because of the employer’s claim that non-acceptance of overtime is an illegal strike, it is possible that the long standing position of overtime being voluntary may be turned on its head.
Members in other Locals may be required to provide evidence that over many many years, the ability to accept or turn down additional voluntary overtime shifts has been a long standing custom and practice within the Fire Service.
The Union is hopeful that the Fire Service will eventually reach a suitable settlement with the Union without the need for the Court at some stage to make a directive which would significantly hamper the operating of rostering within the New Zealand Fire Service because of the actions of the employer in Auckland wanting to integrate Silverdale firefighters.