The Union (Peter Nicolle and Derek Best) have meet with the Minister (Peter Dunne) and D.I.A Officials; the Director of the Transition office (David Strong) and various Transition Office staff, the Chief Executive/National Commander and representatives of the U.F.B.A to discuss and obtain further information on both the Bill and Transition to FENZ.
It is fair to say that many of the issues receive, at this stage, a ‘trust us’ response as so much, less than 12 months before FENZ is intended to take over, is unknown. The Union very much hopes that this situation will not continue to much longer but we have our doubts.
The formal Submission on the Bill is to be submitted by 18 August. The Submission must remain confidential until received by the Committee (when it will be put out for member’s information). However the Key points made in the Submission will include.
- The Union is pleased to see the overarching thrust Of the Bill – merging of Urban and Rural; updating the mandate and addressing, at least in part some of the anomaly’s with the levy. However the Union has real concerns regarding the following.
- Where are the guarantees regarding continued employment and continuation of the Collective Agreement and other Conditions of Employment?
- The Bill is very vague on Operational Command and Control – there is nothing that details who or even if there will be an Operational Head of the Service. All power is given to the (civilian) Board and they can exercise it themselves or delegate to anyone.
- Gratuities are only continued for existing employees
- P.C.A is gone to be replaced by ‘Health Standards’. The provisions for challenging a Medical Disengagement are significantly weakened.
- A new role of ‘Inspector’ is established and is given very substantial powers but the Bill is very vague on who, what and how they will function.
All these are expanded on in the Submission and the Union will ask to be heard by the Select Committee.
For the Union and its Officials, the Bill and Transition to FENZ really is an enormous undertaking.
The Union is advised by the Dunedin Local of the sudden death of Trevor Tilyard.
Trevor had a long involvement with the Dunedin Local commencing in the late 70’s. Trevor was on the Local Executive for more than 20 years during which time he held the President’s position a number of times. Trevor was a staunch supporter when members Wages and Conditions were under attack during the 90’s. In 1998 Trevor was made an Honorary Life member of the Union.
The Union conveys its condolences to Trevor’s family and friends and continues to remember Trevor’s contribution to the maintenance of Firefighter jobs and working conditions.