Newsletter to Members - 7 December 2017

Conference 2017

A successful Conference was held 28-30 November in Akaroa with Delegates from all Locals present – as well as four guests from the UFU of Australia.

As well as Australian speakers, other guest speakers included:

  • Rhys Jones Chief Executive
  • Paul McGill National Commander
  • Denis Fitzmaurice Chairperson of Super Scheme and Union Appointed Director
  • Steve Warner Union Appointed Director
  • Angela Munroe Women in FENZ
  • Jackie Breen Women in FENZ

A more detailed report on the Conference will be provided when the minutes are approved but particular topics included:

  • Psychological Health
  • Diversity
  • Consistency of Application of the CA
  • Target Operating Model
  • Carcinogen Exposure
  • Health Standards
  • Superannuation

Establishment Numbers

The Employer has recognised the existing problem with establishment numbers (they are proving insufficient to maintain MSM. Consequently a working group with 3 Union and 3 Employer Representatives has been established. Below is the agreed statement on the establishment.

Fire and Emergency and NZPFU working group to review career firefighter establishment.

Fire and Emergency and the NZPFU are forming a joint working group to review the career firefighter establishment.

“Establishment” in this context means the total number of operational firefighters and officers employed across the watches to cover all the riding positions on appliances.

We call these permanent riding positions “Minimum Shift Staffing” (MSS).

The joint working group will review establishments, not MSS.

This establishment has not been reviewed for over 30 years.

Many things have changed over that time and we are now experiencing issues that we need to address, such as:

  • MSS sometimes not met due to insufficient firefighters being available to cover absences
  • Some firefighters working long hours
  • Difficulty releasing firefighters for temporary roles because they are needed for operational duties.

The working group will consider all these issues and recommend a new establishment number to meet our current requirements.

This work is likely to take a few months and we’ll keep you informed.

Paul McGill
National Commander Urban 
Derek Best
Secretary, NZPFU 

Target Operating Model

Below is an agreed statement on the development of the Target Operating Model – agreed with the Employer and the various Partner Agencies.

Starting conversations about how we will work as one organisation

How will Fire and Emergency work as one organisation so we are better able to serve New Zealand now and in the future?

That’s the question we are exploring as we bring urban and rural fire together in the integration phase over the next three years.

Fire and Emergency is working together with our unions, associations and partner organisations in a series of workshops between now and mid-December to look at how we can develop our strengths as an organisation and consider new approaches to how we work.

From early next year, Fire and Emergency will engage more widely with our people to share the initial thinking and seek input on how Fire and Emergency could work as an integrated organisation. We call it the ‘operating model’ – put simply, it’s an agreed way of how we work together.

Piki Thomas (Pou Herenga Māori, National Māori Adviser) is one of about 40 of our people joining the discussions.

Piki said: “It’s a really exciting time for our organisation. As an individual you can shape our future – how we operate and develop.”

He encouraged people to have their say from early next year when input is invited: “We’d like you to be involved in the discussions so don’t ‘watch from the stands’, come and be part of the work underway to help make a rich future for our organisation to stand the test of time.” 

The operating model will help Fire and Emergency be well placed to tackle changing risks in New Zealand with an ageing population, climate change and the population shift from rural to urban areas.

It will look at aspects including new capability areas, the needs and risks of our communities and how we can be organised to be more flexible and adaptable to meet those needs.

At this stage we are aiming to be ready to engage and consult with our people on the final draft operating model from mid-2018. When that process is complete we will start putting the agreed arrangements in place, towards full unification from 2020.

We will have more information for you in the New Year. If you have questions or concerns in the meantime, ask your manager or contact us at myvoice@fireandemergency.nz

Annual Leave and the Impact of Christmas/New Year Statutory Holidays

Impact of Christmas and New Year Statutory Holidays on Leave Cycles

Clause 2.7.1(c) of the current Collective Employment Agreement between the NZFS and the NZPFU describes how public holidays falling within periods of leave will be dealt with for rostered shift staff.

"If a public holiday falls or public holidays fall within the extended leave period (i.e. the 14 days) the leave will be extended by the number of public holidays in the same manner as applies to sickness, namely an additional leave day is added to the first duty day shift immediately following the extended leave period."

In most circumstances, the application of this clause is straightforward. However, where statutory holidays fall during and immediately following the end of a leave cycle, this clause must be read in conjunction with the Holidays Act, which is clear that leave cannot be taken on a statutory holiday. This is relevant to the upcoming Christmas and New Year period, for those employees in Leave Group 5 and 6.

Two statutory holidays fall during Brown Watch Leave Group 5's period of leave, being 25th and 26th December. Applying the Holidays Act and Clause 2.7.1 (c) of the Collective Employment Agreement they receive their additional days' leave on the 28th and 29th December, and therefore return to work on the night shift on 30th December.

Two statutory holidays fall during Blue Watch Leave Group 5's period of leave, being 25th and 26th December. Applying the Holidays Act and Clause 2.7.1 (c) of the Collective Employment Agreement, Blue Watch Leave Group 5 would receive their additional leave days on their first day shift of 30th December and 31st December, and return to work for their night shift on 1st January.

Four statutory holidays fall during Green Watch Leave Group 6's period of leave, being 25 and 26 December and the 1st and 2nd of January. Applying the Holidays Act and Clause 2.7.1 (c) of the Collective Employment Agreement, Green Watch Leave Group 6 would receive their additional leave days on the 9th, 10th 11th and 12th January, and return to work for their day shift on the 17th January.

Three statutory holidays fall during Red Watch Leave Group 6's period of leave, being 26th December and 1 and 2 January. Applying the Holidays Act and Clause 2.7.1 (c) of the Collective Employment Agreement, Red Watch Leave Group 6 would receive three additional days leave on the 11th 12th 13th January. They therefore return to work for their night shift on the 14th of January.

Since all watches earn additional leave days this Christmas period during the leave 5 & 6 slot, it has been decided in all fairness across the board to allow them to either take the days as they fall , or get them added to their accruals to allow for manning at the stations over the holidays.

Coloured Watch Leave Group 5 & 6 workers must notify the rosters office by Friday 8th December 2017 if they wish to pro-rata their additional annual leave days.

It would be appreciated if you could discuss with your AAMs as soon as possible and then notify rosters.

Rosters when moving PHR’s do not delete to move use the edit function

If you have moved your annual leave to start on any of these dates and have earnt PHR days then same rules apply.

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