Final Wording of the proposed renewed Collective Agreement has now been finalized between the Union and the Fire Service. This is undoubtedly the most complex and wide-ranging proposed settlement negotiated by the Union for many years. Particularly with a proposal to settle the Days in Lieu litigation and the Union achieving overall more than could be expected if the Union was successful in the Supreme Court, this proposed settlement delivers significant gains for members.

The National Committee recommends the proposal for ratification.

Ratification meetings will be held in Locals in the near future. Some of these will be at short notice and every endeavour will be made to contact members prior to meetings being held.

The proposed Collective Agreement deals with ongoing conditions of employment. That part of the Days in Lieu settlement that goes back to the commencement of the Holidays Act 2003 (1 April 2003) is dealt with by a separate binding Record of Settlement signed by the Mediation Service.

Broad details of the overall settlement have previously been communicated to members. These are confirmed as follows:

1. 2 Year Term – 1 January 2007 – 31 December 2008.

2. Wages & Allowances

Increase by 4% backdated to 1 January 2007 and a further 4% from 1 January 2008.

These increases must be seen in the context of an inflation rate of 2.5% at the end of March 2007 with forecast inflation projected to fall below 2%.

3. Alternative Holidays for Working on Public Holidays

  • From 1 April 2007 an alternative holiday (Day in Lieu) will be provided for each Shift or part Shift worked on a Public Holiday.
  • The definition of a day for the purposes of working on a Public Holiday is midnight to midnight – that is - 3 Shifts which earn an alternative holiday are worked on any Public Holiday. However, only one alternative holiday can be earned on any one Public Holiday.
  • In taking the alternative holiday, the worker must take into account the Fire Service’s view as to when it is convenient for the holiday to be taken, and the Union will assist the Fire Service in maintaining Minimum Shift Manning.
  • The taking of alternative holiday on a Public Holiday will be an exception and will require the approval of the C.F.O.
  • If any Public Holiday falls during Annual Leave (i.e. the 14 days), the period of Annual Leave will be extended by one day as presently applies to sickness - i.e. an additional day’s leave is added to the first duty Day Shift immediately following the Annual Leave period.
  • On the experience of the last 3 years, on average any person on the Operational Roster will receive 8 alternative holidays a year.

5. Scope of Agreement

The Agreement will now specifically cover Operational Planning Officers.

6. Leave Without Pay

There will no longer be a need for a vacancy before return to work, but any return is still not guaranteed.

7. Total Weekly Wage

Members have previously been advised of the Employment Court’s decision that rejected the present methodology, which includes an averaging mechanism to pay for work on Public Holidays.

The Collective Agreement now includes wording that allows for continuation of the averaging concept. Consequently the T.W.W. will continue to include payment for working on Public Holidays.

8. Officership Allowance

On and from 1 July 2007, an Officership Allowance will be paid to Officers on operational or Yellow Watch Roster at a rate of $1500 a year - $57.70 a fortnight.

This will increase to $1560 a year - $60.01 a fortnight, with the 4% increase on 1 January 2008. This allowance recognizes enhanced duties associated with the introduction of TAPs, SMS and general supervisory responsibilities.

Like other allowances, this allowance is not taken into account for Superannuation purposes.

9. National Resource Allocation Model

The Union will participate in the development and implementation of a National Resource Allocation Model on the basis of agreement between the Union and the Fire Service. On this agreed basis, the Union expects the Model to deliver transparent and objective data which can determine the resources needed in any locality.

10. Training & Progression

  • TAPs will be introduced on the basis presently agreed.
  • The Collective Agreement will reflect this, with progression being on the present basis of service and completion of the respective career TAPs programme.
  • Minimum service for progression to Q.F.F. will be reduced from 3years to 2 years.
  • Minimum service for qualification for appointment as a Station Officer is increased from 5 years to 6 years.

Further details including answers to F.A.Q. is expected to be available to members prior to ratification.

11. Residential Courses

The mileage calculator for Residential Courses will change from Distance from Workplace to the Course venue, to Distance from Home.

12. Grade 1 Driver Allowance

A Working Party will be established to look at extending the type of special appliances that are classed as Grade 1 appliances.

13. Black Watch Workers

Present pay rates will be increased by 4% with the proposed new steps being reviewed with an assurance that these steps will increase by a minimum of 4% from 1 January 2007. These will form the steps that the Working Party will determine translation onto.

Record of Settlement with Mediation Service

Essentially this Settlement records the agreement regarding the withdrawing of the Supreme Court appeal and the provision of the 12 Days Special Leave.

The implementation of this Record of Settlement is dependent on the ratification of the Collective Agreement. The Record details:

  • The appeal to the Supreme Court is withdrawn.
  • The Fire Service will not seek the costs awarded by the Court of Appeal - $6000.
  • A one-off grant of Special Leave will be provided to all Firefighters, Officers and Communication Centre Workers who:
  • Are employed at the date of ratification;
  • Are members of the NZPFU at the date of ratification;
  • Have worked on a permanent basis between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2007 on Red, Green, Brown and Blue Watch.
  • The size of the one off Special Leave grant is:
  • 12 Shifts for eligible workers employed continuously from 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2007, and who have worked continuously on the Watches as above.
  • If worked for less than this period or worked on a qualifying Watch for less than that period a prorataed entitlement – i.e. one single shift for each continuous 3 months of qualifying service.
  • Eligible workers on L.W.O.P. at the time of ratification will receive their grant on return to work.
  • The taking of this Special Leave will require prior consultation with the C.F.O. but no day may be taken on a Public Holiday.
  • The Special Leave can be sold back to the Fire Service in whole or in part. The price for each day is calculated at the weighted average call-back cost for the respective rank/driver.

   Non-Driver  Grade 2  Grade 1
 F.F.  $257.78  $261.73  $267.73
 Q.F.F.  $326.76  $331.04  $337.44
 S.F.F.  $339.97  $343.82  $350.25
 S.O. -  $369.22  $375.62
 S.S.O. -  $383.61  $390.06

If the full 12 shifts were sold back, the value is:

F.F.   $3093.36  $3140.76  $3212.76
Q.F.F.   $3921.12  $3972.48  $4049.28
S.F.F.   $4799.88  $4125.84  $4203.00
S.O.  -  $4430.64  $4507.44
S.S.O.  -  $4603.32  $4680.00

Communication Centres: 

    12 Shift Value
Grade 1 $334.62 $4015.44
Grade 2 $379.80 $4557.60
Grade 3 $410.04 $4920.48
Senior Comm $456.48 $5477.76
Shift Manager $527.58 $6330.96

In Heads of Agreement

Superannuation – Kiwi Saver

The Fire Service Superannuation Scheme will, by Trust Deed Amendment, introduce a Kiwi Saver compliant section. This will enable members to voluntarily qualify for tax savings on both their and the Fire Service’s contributions. These contributions would be placed in the Kiwi Saver compliant section, which would lock in savings until 65 years of age.

The Trustees will circulate information when Trust Deed amendments are effected.

Mileage Reimbursement

A.A. mileage rates will be introduced from the pay period immediately following ratification. The agreed rate will be based on the over 14000km total travel and based on vehicle c.c. ratings.

Up to 1300cc 50.2 cents/km
1301 - 1600cc 55.4 cents/km 
1601 - 2000cc 72.9 cents/km 
Over 2000cc 89.2 cents/km 

(2006 rates)

Attached is an opinion from the Union’s lawyer giving their view of the Days in Lieu litigation.

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