COVID-19 UPDATE

On Thursday the NZPFU notified members employed as firefighters and in the community resilience/risk reduction roles to expect to be notified that their work came within the scope of the Health Order requiring mandatory vaccinations. 

Yesterday FENZ notified all personnel in the below list of positions are covered by the mandatory vaccination order requiring at least the first of the Covid-19 vaccine on or by 15 November in order to continue to work in those roles.  Those workers will have to have the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccination no later than 1 January 2022.

FENZ is now required under the Health Order to collect the vaccination status of those who perform the roles that will be required to be undertaken by vaccinated workers.  The Order provides that FENZ collects that data from the affected worker.

  • Today FENZ will send out information on the process for the collection of that information. 
  • Only those working/volunteering in the positions in the list will be required to provide their vaccination status. 
  • That process will include completing a questionnaire through Homebase or a secure link to a form for the information required under the Order.  The NZPFU has been consulted on the questionnaire and the protections in place to comply with privacy requirements.  This is a different questionnaire to the one we had removed from Homebase last Saturday.
  • The NZPFU advises members to only use the Homebase or secure link processes to provide their vaccination status. Officers, management and co-workers are not to ask individuals for their vaccination status.

The NZPFU is working through options with FENZ to ensure that those on leave during the timeframe FENZ is collecting vaccination status information or on leave past the deadline for the first dose of the vaccination on 15 November 2021.  It is important that members are able to take their leave uninterrupted and are not disadvantaged by being on leave.  We are working through a fair and reasonable process and will notify members once that process is confirmed.  

  • If you are employed/volunteer in any of the roles below you will be required to have received at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination no later than 15 November 2021 in order to continue working/volunteering in that role.
  • It is only those affected personnel who are required to provide their vaccination status to FENZ.  FENZ will notify personnel of that process today.  Please do not provide your personal information in any other way to FENZ.
  • If one of the below roles is your substantive position but you are currently working/seconded in a position that is not on the list, you are not required to be vaccinated and do not provide your vaccination status to FENZ while you are working in the role that is not on the list.  If the mandatory Order is still in force when you return to your substantive position included on the list below, you will be required to be vaccinated and provide your vaccination status to FENZ prior to commencing work in the substantive position.
  • If your position is not listed below then you do not need to be vaccinated and do not provide your vaccination status to FENZ.  For example our members who work in the Communications Centres, VSOs and Trainers are not covered by the mandatory vaccination Order to undertake their duties and will not be required to provide your vaccination status. 
  • If your position is not listed below but you volunteer as a firefighter you will need to be vaccinated in order and provide your vaccination status to FENZ to continue in your volunteer firefighter role. 

We remind members that the NZPFU will be focused on preserving employment for those not vaccinated.  Until FENZ knows the level of unvaccinated personnel across the roles and locations, any options to remain employed are unknown.  It is likely that we will have to advocate for affected members individually.

If unvaccinated members are considering being vaccinated, or will only be vaccinated if the Order impacts on their work, we strongly suggest those members arrange to be vaccinated now. 

If members are not vaccinated and do not intend to have their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination no later than the 15 November 2021, and you will want union support/representation please email secretary@nzpfu.org.nz if you have not already done so.

We remind everyone that we have members that are feeling pressured, stressed and anxious about the implications of the mandatory vaccination order.   Do not ask anyone their vaccination status or reasons for that status.  Please just be mindful of the seriousness of the situation and decisions our members are making.  Please offer support or find the appropriate person to reach out and offer support. 

LIST OF POSITIONS REQUIRING MANDATORY VACCINATION

Group – Role Title
Recruit Firefighter (VOL) District Manager
Firefighter (VOL) Group Manager
Firefighter Regional Manager
Qualified Firefighter (VOL) Operational Support (VOL)
Qualified Firefighter Rural Operational Support
Senior Firefighter (VOL) Advisor Community Readiness and Recovery
Senior Firefighter Advisor Risk Reduction
Chief Fire Officer (VOL) Community Risk Manager
Deputy Chief Fire Officer (VOL) Senior Advisor Community Readiness & Recovery
Officer in Charge (VOL) Senior Advisor Risk Reduction
Station Officer (VOL) USAR Doctor
Station Officer USAR Paramedic
Senior Station Officer (VOL) USAR Technician
Senior Station Officer USAR Logistics
Rural Medical Responder USAR Engineer
Rural Recruit Firefighter USAR Canine Handler
Rural Controller Poutakawaenga Māori/Māori Liaison
Rural Firefighter Co-located Brigades (case-by-case basis)
Rural Fire Officer Senior Officer on Call Rosters (District and Region)
Rural Deputy Controller
Rural Crew Leader
Crew Leader
Medical First Responder (VOL)

The link to our previous notice explaining the application of the Order can be viewed here

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary

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