Members are aware of the previous Notice regarding the negotiations for the renewal of the CEA. This was the notice that was put out with the full copy of the employer’s final offer to settle.

The two parties have reached a place where there is little to be gained by furthering the bargaining process until members have had a chance to view and vote to either accept or refuse the offer that we have.

You will be aware that one of the employer’s initial claims was to institute Flexible Rosters. After full consideration of this option, the Union rejected the claim. A principle reason for this was that the flexible roster would result in members’ overtime being halved from the levels that are worked at this time. Currently our members’ remuneration is made up of an average of between 27% and 30% overtime payments.

It follows therefore that if overtime was to be halved then members’ remuneration would reduce by between 13.5% and 15%. The employer was offering an increase in wages and allowances of around 2.6%. Obviously the increase in wages offered, when considering that firefighters deserve a wage increase for such things as the continued success by working in our communities to reduce the number of fire fatalities and all the other targets that the employer sets, and the fact that members’ wages were to drop by up to 15%, the offer was far from acceptable.

The Union started the negotiations by asking for a wage increase of about 3.75% per annum. This would have brought the basic hourly rate of a Firefighter Non‐driver up to the minimum hourly rate set by the Government. Since that time, during the negotiations period the Union has decreased its claim to try to get a settlement. Our final asking figure was just 2.9% on all wages and allowances for an 18 month term.

With the flexible rosters out of the equation, the employer came back to the Union with a completely revised option and a change in the way that the Total Weekly Wage (TWW) was made up. These changes took the availability allowance and the allowance for extra payment for Statutory Days worked, out of the TWW. An increase of about 2% was then applied to the remainder and this was then divided by the hours worked to get a more true hourly rate.

So the increase in the TWW offered by the employer was between 2% and 2.04% and the renewed agreement would expire 30 June 2012.

The increased hourly rate was coupled with a change in the way that overtime is calculated. The TX1.5 (time and a half) was replaced by TX1.2, and the TX2.0 (double time) replaced by TX1.5. These changes brought about increases to the amount of money earned by members when they do call‐ backs of between 0.91% and 5.87% depending on rank and shift, that is whether a day shift, night shift or weekend shift was worked. Officers’ rates rose slightly higher because the Officership Allowance, which is currently outside the TWW, has been included in the TWW.

As you can see the proposed settlement offer is quite complicated to explain. The Union is proposing a round of Ratification Meetings where the proposal can be considered more fully. It is imperative that you attend these meetings as only those members who attend ratification meetings have the opportunity to vote on the acceptance of rejection of the offer.

Meetings are being organised and notices of meetings will be posted at your station shortly. Please take this notice as part of the 14 days’ notice required for meetings.

Along with the Ratification Ballot a ballot will commence to enable the National Committee to issue notice of industrial action to the employer if necessary.

Below are two tables which outline the amounts of the increases that the employer is offering for Senior Firefighter and Station Officers.

SENIOR FIREFIGHTER GRADE 1 DRIVER

  TOTAL WEEKLY /W HOUR RATE D CALL/N N CALL/B WEEKEND DAY WEEKEND NIGHT
CURRENT $1074.62 $16.84 $319.45 $454.13 $344.70 $479.38
PROPOSED $1096.09 $23.19 $326.98 $466.12 $347.85 $486.99

STATION OFFICER GRADE 1 DRIVER

  TOTAL WEEKLY /W  HOUR RATE D CALL/N N CALL/B WEEKEND DAY WEEKEND NIGHT
CURRENT
$1188.14 $18.08 $342.50 $487.15 $369.62 $514.27
PROPOSED
$1211.90 $25.64 $361.52 $515.36 $384.60 $538.44

OFFICER FIGURES INCLUDE THE OFFICERSHIP ALLOWANCE IN BOTH THE CURRENT AND PROPOSED FIGURES.

Back‐pay would be paid as a Lump Sum. Lump Sum payments are worked out on the average amount per month that would be payable if the back‐pay was calculated rank for rank. Therefore the calculated amount for a Firefighter is Non‐driver $87.88 per month, Grade 2 Driver $89.22, and Grade 1 Driver $91.24. The average for a Firefighter is therefore $89.44. This is the amount of Lump Sum paid per month for the rank of Firefighter. For the 4 months from 1st January 2011 to 1st May 2011 the amount would be $357.79, the offer is $360.00

Offers for each rank for a 4 month period are listed below.

  • Firefighter ‐ $360
  • Qualified Firefighter ‐ $450
  • Senior Firefighter ‐ $470
  • Station Officer ‐ $530
  • Senior Station Officer ‐ $550
  • Black Watch ‐ $500
  • Trainee Communicator ‐ $300
  • Communicator Grade 2 ‐ $350
  • Communicator Grade 3 ‐ $370
  • Communicator Grade 4 ‐ $400
  • Communicator Grade 5 ‐ $450
  • Shift Manager ‐ $500

The Union Committee is recommending that this offer be rejected.

Gifting Leave to Christchurch Members ‐ As outlined in NTM 13 – 11 April 2011

There has been a very good response to the opportunity to gift leave to Christchurch Members and this is greatly appreciated. If you are still intending to gift leave, please remember to advise the Union (nzpfu2@ihug.co.nz) when you do so. Thank you.

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