The Union held its 2005 Conference in Tauranga 22 – 24 November 2005.
The common consensus was the Conference was a success, with positive and well thought out contributions from all Delegates.
Outside speakers to address Delegates included:
- Hon. Rick Barker – Minister of Internal Affairs
- Terry Scott – Deputy Chairman, Fire Service Commission
- Brett Baulman – U.F.U. of Australia
- Ian Pickard – Director, Strategic Development – Fire Service on S.M.S.
- Peter Cranney – Oakley Moran
- Michelle Cooper - Fire Service National Illness Rehabilitation Coordinator
Particular Resolutions adopted by Conference included:
In general discussion on protective personal equipment, Delegates heard of concerns regarding the reissuing in some localities of so-called refurbished helmets.
Given the lack of quality control and subsequent inherent danger, Conference resolved:
“That Union members refuse to accept any refurbished helmets”.
Agreement Claims for 2006
“That the National Committee be requested to investigate options to increase the base pay of Officers”.
“That the Committee consider improvements in Long Service Leave in next year’s Collective Agreement negotiations”.
Use of Operational Staff as Fire Investigators
“That this Conference does not accept a role of Fire Investigator by on-call operational staff covered by the Collective Agreement, and the extension of duties imposed by that role, unless that role is negotiated for and accepted on a national basis”.
Brett Baulman outlined to Delegates the changes proposed by the Australian government regarding industrial relations legislation. These changes will provide a regime in Australia significantly worse than New Zealand workers experienced under the Employment Contracts Act.
Delegates also noted the very close contact maintained between Australia and New Zealand employers of firefighters through AFAC.
Delegates agreed that negative effects of the implementation of the legislation in Australia that would lead to cuts in Australian firefighter wages and conditions of employment, had a very real possibility of impacting on conditions of employment in New Zealand.
Delegates also noted the considerable assistance given by the U.F.U. of Australia to the NZPFU in the 1990s. Consequently Delegates resolved:
“In condemning in the strongest terms the draconian industrial relations legislative changes of Australia’s Howard government, this 2005 Conference of the N.Z. Professional Firefighters Union offers its total support in all ways possible to the U.F.U. of Australia and its constituent Branches, in its fight to oppose these changes and in their struggle to protect firefighters’ wages and conditions of employment”.
Physical Competency Assessment
- 2 trial/practice sessions with 1 mandatory.
- A significant gap between the trial/practice sessions and the actual PCA. This is particularly to allow any person experiencing difficulties with the trial/practice session a sufficiently long period to undergo rehabilitation before having to undertake the actual assessment.
Black Watch Workers
Delegates noted the intention to develop a specific and separate section of the Collective Agreement to provide for specific Black Watch issues (e.g. similar to that for Comm. Centres).
Delegates expressed satisfaction with the Website and noted its heavy usage and positive feedback from members.
Delegates were advised of continuing ongoing improvements, including the soon to be commenced Webshop selling Union labeled clothing.