Fire Safety Restructure

Further to: 
Notice 24 – 11 December 2008 
Notice 25 – 23 December 2008 

Find below a self-explanatory letter to the Fire Service raising the various identified issues regarding the so-called restructure.

The Union would hope that satisfactory responses are received before the 24th January 2009 date for expressions of interest.

Members will be updated as any developments occur.

In the interim, the Union has withdrawn its advice to members as in Notice 24 of 11 December 2008 not to apply for the vacant positions as gazetted – i.e. the Auckland vacancies and the Invercargill secondment.


14 January 2009

Mike Hall
Chief Executive/National Commander
N.Z. Fire Service
P.O. Box 2133
WELLINGTON 6140

Dear Mike,

Fire Safety Changes

The Union has previously expressed its concern regarding the lack of proper and genuine consultation regarding the proposed changes.

There still remains significant confusion both regarding the real purpose of what is intended to be achieved and how achievement will be met. The outcome of this confusion, which also appears to be with Regional Managers as well, is that there appears to be different approaches being adopted between Regions.

For example – in one Region the “expression of interest” letter was not sent until after the first deadline had passed.

The Union also notes the considerable discussion that has occurred in Auckland regarding the proposal and its possible implications within the Auckland Fire Safety Department.

The Union’s understanding of the present position for those currently employed as Fire Safety Officers is:

  1. The conditions of employment for those presently serving in Fire Safety, and that would continue to apply if appointed to the new role is as in Part 4 of the Collective Agreement. The Union notes in this regard that the Collective Agreement titles positions within its coverage as Fire Safety Officers.

  2. Existing employees do not need to express an interest or apply for the new role. If they wish they can continue as previous.

  3. For existing employees who do express an interest in the new role, any development of a profiling survey and development plan is not mandatory. Employees must elect to take part in this process.

  4. Rank would only be held by persons with the appropriate Fire Service qualifications.

  5. Positions to be identified as District/Area or Region appointments.

The Union would appreciate your confirmation of these points.

The second issue where clarification is urgently needed is in regard to a “development plan” that a person may elect into: specifically

  • What expertise do CBA Consulting have in producing a developmental plan for persons already expert in Fire Safety work?

  • How will any developmental work or training be integrated into Fire Service training generally – i.e. the Training Department?

  • Will training to be provided meet NZQA Standards? What would be the involvement of FRSITO for example?

  • Who will develop ongoing training programmes for both existing and new employees in Fire Safety and will these meet NZQA Standards? Will they be recognized by FRSITO?

  • What time on duty will be provided for undertaking training?

    In this regard, the Union notes the provisions of the Collective Agreement Part 4 Clauses 2.2 and 2.3.

The Union further notes the specific agreements made in Auckland as they relate to the structure and function of the Auckland Fire Safety Department and also notes that the negotiations currently in progress to renew the C.A. will also deal with part 4 issues.

The Union looks forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

DEREK BEST
SECRETARY 

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