Members will be aware of the tragic and catastrophic event yesterday (and ongoing) in Christchurch.
The Union’s sympathy, thoughts and support go to our Members and their Families in Christchurch and with all our members who have been deployed from all around New Zealand. We also note the deployment of our Brothers and Sisters from Australia.
The Union has spoken with National and Branch Officials in Christchurch, but as members will appreciate, the situation is still somewhat unclear.
When we receive more information and receive a considered assessment from Christchurch, we will act to do all we can to assist; this probably will include sending Union officials to Christchurch.
The Union has already received messages/communications of sympathy, concern and support from the UFU of Australia and the International Assn. of Firefighters (U.S.A. and Canada).
Leave On Public Holidays
The Union has had discussions with the Fire Service Human Resources regarding the recent notice by the CEO on the matter of leave on a Public Holiday.
During these discussions the Director of HR stated that there was no impediment on Area Managers or Assistant Area Managers to grant a day off duty on a Public Holiday. The only impediment raised by the opinion of the Labour Department, due to a request for information by one of our members, was that a day’s holiday cannot be taken or deducted from an entitlement on a Public Holiday
In other words you cannot take leave/have a day’s leave deducted on a day that is already a leave day.
AM’s and AAM’s may approve a Public Holiday off duty; it is allowed for in the Holidays Act. They cannot deduct any days off your existing leave entitlements for this leave.
AM’s and AAM’s have been instructed that they should only approve this leave if it is cost neutral to the Fire Service.
You may take Long Service Leave, i.e. 20 year leave, over any period that has a public holiday in it. You will be granted an extra day’s leave as you are now for any public holidays falling during an extended leave period.
You may arrange for a stand in on a Public Holiday; this is cost neutral, as the lieu day is passed onto the person doing the stand in.
If your AM or AAM is refusing to grant days off as above he/she is acting outside of the instructions of the Director of Human Resources. This probably means that they cannot read or understand English.
If this is happening to you please contact your local New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union representative.
Ban On Use Of PPV In Aggressive Fire Fighting
The Union has recently become aware of a potential Serious Harm Incident with the aggressive use of P.P.V.
The Union believes this incident necessitates a Level 2 Harm Investigation. However, it would seem that the relevant Fire Service management will not do this and are simply carrying out a Management Operational Review.
This action in itself raises concerns about what potentially they will cover up.
However, until and unless the Union is satisfied with the outcome of any inquiry/investigation, the Union Committee has placed a ban on the use of P.P.V for aggressive fire fighting operations.