FENZ to commence "advance notice meetings" and "information events" on Tranche 2 and 2B proposals

FENZ has notified the NZPFU of the process for distributing the pending consultation document detailing the Tranche 2 and Tranche 2B proposals. 

This will be a stressful and unsettling time for many of our members. If you need any support please contact your Local for assistance. We will take all necessary action to preserve all members’ rights as employees. At any time Members can contact the union for support and assistance.

Please remember this is the start of a process. There will be a consultation period and FENZ will be obligated to consider the submissions made in that process. Regardless of the outcomes, those outcomes will not eventuate quickly. If we do not agree with the outcomes, or believe the outcomes impact on your health and safety, or your rights as employees, we will contest the outcomes in the appropriate forum and take all necessary steps to protect the status quo.

The NZPFU is expecting the proposal to be an attack on the professionalism of firefighting and to attempt to undermine critical command and rank structures. We will take all necessary action to preserve the professionalism of firefighting and the rank and command structures. We will leave no stone unturned.

  1. All NZPFU members (along with everyone else FENZ classifies as FENZ personnel) will be able to view an electronic copy of the consultation document and supporting information, e.g. position descriptions, organisation charts, on the Portal from midday on Wednesday 18 September 2019. FENZ will also distribute a limited number of hard copy consultation documents, including to all “affected employees”, and to each station/brigade and Region and District office. FENZ defines “affected employees” as those whose substantive position would be subject to significant change under the proposals”.

  2. All NZPFU members will be consulted through the NZPFU:
      • We will ensure you all have access to the proposal document and we encourage each and every member to provide the NZPFU with a submission to be attached to the NZPFU submission.
      • We will ensure you all have access to the proposal document and we encourage each and every member to provide the NZPFU with a submission to be attached to the NZPFU submission.
      • We will provide more information on that process directly and through your Local once the consultation documentation is received.
      • A submission can be an email to the NZPFU setting out your views of the proposals, can address specific issues and provide specific examples of the impact the proposals will have, or could be a substantial submission in a separate document. As some members have requested, we will provide an template structure for submissions for those that wish such guidance. We will provide more information on the submission process once we have received the consultation documentation.
      • We refer you to our earlier National Notices setting out our concerns about the attacks on the professionalism of firefighting and FENZ’s intention to undermine the critical rank and command structures and to fast-track non-career firefighters into positions managing professional career firefighters and resources, including command roles. We will provide to you more detailed information once the consultation document has been distributed.

  3. “Affected employees” will be invited to a meeting with a member of the ELT or SDLT on 16 or 17 September 2017. FENZ has determined that “affected employees” are those whose substantive position would be subject to significant change under the proposals. It is our understanding that FENZ have designated FRMOs as “affected” under the proposals.
    • THESE ARE NOT A CONSULTATION MEETINGS. DO NOT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR VIEWS. THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO GET AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE PROPOSAL.
    • This meeting is to give those FENZ has designated as “ affected” advance notice “of the potential impact of the proposals on their substantive position prior to the proposals being made available to all personnel”. You will be provided with the consultation documentation. Any NZPFU member invited and wants to attend one of these meetings should do so to gather all information they need about the proposals and the potential impact on their position.
    • It is likely that these will be meetings with a group of employees. If you are sent a letter and want a personal meeting you are within your rights to request one. Contact your Local for assistance if you wish to have a one-on-one meeting.
    • You are encouraged to have a NZPFU representative with you at the group meetings or any one-on-one meetings. Contact your Local to ensure you have that representation. Your Local will contact the Branch if they cannot attend. Members are encouraged not to attend these meetings alone. It is not in your interest to attend this meeting without a NZPFU representative. If you need any other support please notify your Local. If the meeting is with a group of employees your Local will ensure that they have at least one representative at that meeting.

  4. “Impacted employees” will receive a personal letter and will be offered meetings with leaders when consultation has commenced. FENZ has determined that “impacted employees” are those “employees whose substantive position would be subject to minor or some change under the proposals. It is our understanding that FENZ has designated SSOs and SOs as impacted as the proposals affect their line management but have not designated those acting up into AAM roles as “impacted”. We don’t agree with these definitions.
    • THESE ARE NOT CONSULTATION MEETINGS. DO NOT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR VIEWS. THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO GET AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE PROPOSAL.
    • This meeting is to give those FENZ has designated as “impacted” an opportunity to ask questions and seek information about the potential impact of the proposals. Any NZPFU member invited and wants to attend one of these meetings should do so to gather all information they need about the proposals and the potential impact on their position and the overall operational response of FENZ.
    • You are encouraged to have a NZPFU representative with you at this meeting. Contact your Local to ensure you have that representation. Your Local will contact the Branch if they cannot attend. Members are encouraged not to attend these meetings alone. It is not in your interest to attend this meeting without a NZPFU representative. If you need any other support please notify your Local.

  5. During consultation FENZ will hold “information events” across the country and at NHQ “to provide the opportunity for people to hear from ELT/SDLT about the proposals and to ask questions”
    • THESE ARE NOT CONSULTATION MEETINGS. DO NOT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR VIEWS. THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO GET AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE PROPOSAL.
    • These meetings are to provide the opportunity for people to hear from ELT/SDLT about the proposals and to ask questions. Any NZPFU member who wants to attend one of these meetings should do so to gather all information they need about the proposals and the potential impact on their position and the overall operational response of FENZ.
    • We are challenging FENZ’s intention to only send invitations to “affected”, “impacted” and CFOs and Controllers. It is our strong view that everyone should have access to this information and an opportunity to ask questions. We will notify members of these meetings and encourage all to attend. We will have NZPFU representatives at these meetings.

We have notified FENZ that career firefighters and other members have the same rights to any information and information meetings as any one else in the organisation. FENZ has been clear that all of the above meetings are not consultation meetings therefore there should be no exclusion for those to attend the information events.

We also have notified FENZ we do not agree with their definitions of “affected” and “impacted”. It is our view that as the proposals are likely to impact rank, command and line management structures, all of our members are potentially affected and impacted.

We will keep members updated.

If you have any concerns or queries please contact your Local in the first instance. Your National President Ian Wright, National Vice President Joseph Stanley and National Secretary Wattie Watson can also answer any questions you may have about the process or the NZPFU’s position.

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary

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