It’s been a couple of very busy weeks, both personally and Union wise. I am extremely pleased to have a meeting date agreed and set with the Auckland Local for the 23rd November here in Wellington. The National Committee and I are looking forward to constructive and robust discussions around the present, and most importantly, the future of the Auckland Local and the Union overall.
The same week sees the Auckland Taskforce workgroup gathering in Auckland on the 20th to meet with the governance group to set the tone and expectations of what is expected to be an intense piece of work to come out of this last round of negotiations. It is clear that all parties are very committed in this process. The workgroup will be tasked with taking the broadest approach possible to consider every possible solution for Auckland’s unique challenges.
The National Committee met on the 5th to consider the Union’s Recruitment team’s recommendation for the new Secretary. Good discussion was had and I am very pleased to say the Committee agreed to ratify both the recommended person and the terms of employment and we are all very excited by the soon to be announced Secretary. We are just waiting on receiving the signed employment contract and then we will make the announcement. When the announcement is made, Derek will no longer be the Secretary and we will consider not appointing a temporary Secretary, instead waiting for the new appointee to start.
The annual Conference has been moved to Christchurch and the date has been pushed out to the 2nd week in December. This will allow the new Secretary to be in place and hopefully the new Vice President to have been elected by then with that ballot closing on the 7th, Ballot papers should be out this week.
One bonus for cancelling the Auckland Conference is that we are able to move the deposit for this to May 2019 when I will be organising a special conference in Auckland to specifically work with outside professionals and all the Local Secretaries on our Values, code of conduct and set some long term strategies of the Union.
This extremely important piece of work will no doubt be complimented and informed by the recent bullying and harassment study undertaken by Judge Coral Shaw, due to be released early next year. We have had a briefing on the study and I think it is fair to say we all need to look at ourselves and ask, what can I change about myself and my behaviour and that of others I work with to make a difference and a safer workplace?
The Union officials and SME’s continue to undertake a power of work on all of our behalf, informing and influencing the future direction of FENZ. We have also made our submission on the TOM consultation process, this will be available to view on the web site soon.
I have asked the webmaster to identify opportunities/platforms for different secure online forums for Union members and Officials. I think it is a very important part of life these days to offer opportunity to Members and Officials to create, moderate and participate in online discussions and to help us conduct the business of the Union. If anyone has any great ideas about they type of platform we could use please feel free to e mail the office at firstname.lastname@example.org
My self, Graeme Gilroy (President Southern Branch) are travelling to Hobart for the annual UFUA’s (United Firefighters Union of Australia) conference this week. This is a regular invite, just as we invite them to attend our conference every year. At his years conference the agenda discusses amongst other things, PFAS contamination and mitigation, Firefighter wellness and PTSI, particularly important as the Tasmanian Government is about to pass legislation recognising PTSI as a workplace injury/illness. The UFUA’s political and legislative agenda will also be discussed as will their OSH group be discussing fire appliance design which Graeme is particularly interested in as he is on the Type 3 governance group. The UFUA are particularly interested in our Target Operating Model progress and how we are responding and the challenges it poses to Union members and Officials, to that end, Graeme and I will be giving them a presentation. A report will be compiled by Graeme and myself on the conference and will be available to all Union members shortly after our return.
Secretary Best is also travelling with us as a guest of the UFUA as they wanted to recognise his particular term and achievements as our Secretary for the last 34 years. They hold him in the highest regard.
Thank you and stay safe
New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union