General

A very successful 2006 Conference was held in Wellington 21 – 23 November.

What was very different was this Conference was held in conjunction with the United Firefighters Union of Australia’s 2006 Conference.

As well as separate sessions, considerable time was devoted to Joint Sessions with 30 New Zealand and 55 Australian delegates coming together to discuss and consider issues of mutual interest.

Also attending the Joint Sessions and contributing to the discussions were the General President of the International Association of Firefighters, Harold Schaitberger, and Vice Presidents Michael Mullane (Boston) and LouieWright (Kansas City).

Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union of the United Kingdom also addressed the Joint Sessions by telephone speaker.

Both the Union and the UFU of Australia endorsed a Resolution establishing a formal international structure (this had been previously endorsed by the IAFF). This development – which is anticipated to extend to Firefighter Unions in other countries, is an exciting development that will allow Firefighter Unions everywhere to protect and enhance members’ and their families’ conditions of employment, work environment and health and safety.

Attached to this Notice is the Resolution adopted. In the New Year further information will be distributed concerning the International Alliances.

As well as the senior officials of the four Unions participating, other speakers to the Joint Sessions included:

  • The Prime Minister, Helen Clark
  • The Minister of Internal Affairs, Rick Barker
  • The President of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the President of the Australian CTU, Sharan Burrow.
  • The President of the NZCTU, Ross Wilson
  • Assistant Commissioner for the Queensland Fire & Rescue Service, Iain McKenzie
  • Chief Executive/National Commander, N.Z. Fire Service, Mike Hall
  • Warren Gray, NZ Ministry of the Environment and Simon Terry, Sustainability Council of N.Z. – on Climate Change and the implications for Fire Services.

Resolutions of Importance from Conference 2006

a) That the delegates at the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union’s 18th Annual Conference – November 2006 – deem that 11th September (9/11) each year be solemnly recognized as a Day of Remembrance for all firefighters who fall in the line of duty everywhere.

The significance of this resolution is obvious and reflects a similar resolution adopted at the 2006 IAFF Convention.

Delegates were privileged to hear from the Vice President of the IAFF, Michael Mullane on the massive IAFF effort and contribution to assist surviving firefighters and the families of those who suffered bereavement, after 9/11.

b) That all Station OSH Representatives receive a suitable fortnightly payment for the work involved in obtaining and maintaining tertiary qualifications for the N.Z. Fire Service A.C.C. Audit process.

c) Professional firefighters will only accept core operational training from trainees with a N.Z. Fire Service professional firefighting background. No volunteer, or person from a direct volunteer background, or a person employed as a volunteer, will be accepted as a trainer of professional firefighters.

d) That unqualified persons will not act/relieve up on a pre-planned basis.

e) That this 2006 Conference note the outstanding commitment, leadership and dedication by Mike McEnaney during his tenure as an official of the NZPFU.

f) That this Conference, in noting the discussions and decisions regarding the International Alliance made within the Joint Conference of the NZPFU and the UFU of Australia, and to ensure that the Union is best placed to protect and enhance membership services, instructs the Committee to investigate and report back to Conference delegates, as soon as possible, but not later than next Conference, the level of Union fees necessary to:

  • Address the present anomalies with Honoraria;
  • Take full advantage of the International Alliance; and
  • To increase staffing resources to, for example, improve delegate training, handling of disputes and to generally provide support to the Secretary and the Committee.

g) That Athol Conway and Denis Fitzmaurice replace Ken Simons and Mike McEnaney as Union appointed Trustees of the Superannuation Scheme.

If there are any Local problems, particularly with Resolutions c) and d) above, please discuss these with Branch officials.

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