Auckland - Integration of Silverdale Persons, Uniform, Physical Competency Assessment, Elections

Auckland - Integration of Silverdale Persons

Although management intended to commence this integration last Monday, in fact none of the Silverdale transferees have set foot on any of the Stations they have been transferred to.

In this regard, the Union refers to the Notice sent out by Mike McEnaney of a relevant website www.trustandconfidence.tk.

The Union has had papers served on it alleging various actions in Auckland constitute an illegal strike. It is intended that the hearing will be on 15 May in Auckland.

It is expected that the Court hearing will be preceded by further mediation on 12 May.

The Union remains hopeful that the matter can be resolved in mediation, but given the possible legal action, is unable to comment further in any more detail.

Uniform

The Union is aware of members’ concern regarding the new Uniform/Station-wear that has been proposed. Particularly, the Union understands that various managers are suggesting that the Union is some how responsible for the delay in its delivery. This is not correct.

As a result of concern expressed at last year’s Conference, the Union formally sought a round table meeting with interested parties to discuss the various concerns. That initiation was accepted by the Chief Executive/National Commander. The Union was advised that such a meeting could be arranged for early 2003.

Despite reminders from the Union that meeting has not eventuated.

Obviously the only way to resolve the various differences of opinion is for them to be discussed openly and honestly. This is what the Union proposed and the Union is concerned that the commitment to a meeting has not yet been honoured.

Physical Competency Assessment

As members know, the detail of what the assessment will be has been circulated. The only outstanding matter is finalization of the payment for undertaking the assessment.

The Union’s long standing position has been a requirement for the employer’s Superannuation Subsidy to be restored to $1.80 net. before any P.C.A. would be undertaken. The Union received that assurance at the last agreement negotiations.

The obvious way of implementing this is a simple increase in the employer’s Superannuation Subsidy from $1.52 net. to $1.80 net. However, it soon became apparent that this approach simply wouldn’t work.

A large number of people who will be required to undertake the P.C.A. are not members of the Superannuation Scheme.

As well, there are a significant number who, although members of the Scheme, contribute at less than 5% - some are frozen at 0%.

As well, because Superannuation is directly related to pay level, a direct calculation based on Superannuation would mean, for example, a Regional Commander receiving 3 or 4 times more than a Firefighter for the same assessment.

Consequently, work is continuing on developing a lump sum option. The amount of this is not yet finalized but

  • It will be paid this financial year.
  • In the future the allowance will be paid annually and the P.C.A. will be required to be undertaken every 2 years.
  • The total amount the Fire Service will pay out is equivalent to the restoration of the Superannuation Subsidy back to $1.80 net.
  • The actual amount the Fire Service will pay is almost $2.70, that is the amount includes the Superannuation Contribution Withholding Tax that the Fire Service would otherwise have had to pay.

Once this final detail is agreed then all matters will have been resolved. It is expected that the first assessments will commence around the end of the year.

You will remember that there must be sufficient time at localities for training/practicing for the assessment.

Elections

Members will have seen the Notice calling for nominations for the positions of National President, Vice President and Secretary.

These officials are elected for a 3 year term and the current term expires 31 July 2003.

It is understood that both the President, Mike McEnaney and the Secretary, Derek Best intend to stand for re-election – John Devereux, the Vice President does not intend to stand for re-election.

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