Members will be aware of the issues surrounding Silverdale Station and its manning. The present situation is that the conversion from Yellow Watch to 24/7 manning is progressing to the satisfaction of the Auckland Local Executive. The National Secretary has written to the NZFS National Commander/Chief Executive outlining the Union’s position, and we have received positive verbal feedback through the Director of Operations and Training.
There is still a lot of work to be done and members should be patient, as the wrong course of action now could jeopardise the delicate negotiations at present being undertaken by the Auckland Local and the National Secretary.
The Union would like to thank its members, particularly those on the North Shore, Waitemata and Avondale, for their co-operation during what must seem to them to be interminable delays. They can rest assured that the present situation will not continue for much longer.
Aerial Appliance Strategy
Some members will be aware that the Auckland Region Aerial Appliance Strategy document has been on the Auckland Intranet for some time. Regional Management considers this to be consultation and has now issued its final position.
The Auckland Local Committee has been made aware of this from members who are naturally upset by the stupidity of the decision. The Union is still waiting to hear from Regional Management about the decision.
The management position appears to be that the Aerialscope and the Mack Turntable Ladder will be decommissioned and the relief aerial appliance will be the Mack Snorkel. They want to move the Spartan Turntable Ladder in to Auckland City Station and place a new 32 metre Bronto at Parnell Station.
The Union considers this decision to be flawed as it is based purely on cost of maintenance. The Aerialscope cost $9000.00 more than the Snorkel to maintain during the last financial year. This is hardly surprising as the Snorkel spends the majority of it’s time parked in the yard at Papatoetoe Station as the spare, and the Aerialscope is in constant use.
There has been absolutely no consultation with end users of these vehicles by management, as if there had been, the decision would have been radically different.
Because of the Regional Manager’s refusal to properly consult with the Union over matters directly concerning our members, the Auckland Local Committee is seriously considering placing a ban on any training on the new Bronto Type 5 appliance until such time as we receive, in writing, the guarantee that a Type 6 Aerial appliance, as referred to by the National Commander on the K99 video and confirmed verbally to the Auckland Local President, has been ordered and a delivery date, satisfactory to the Auckland Local Committee, has been confirmed.
Members of the Auckland Local may be instructed not to assist in any way in the introduction of the Type 5 Bronto and the removal of the Aerialscope and replacement of it by a vastly inferior appliance, the Spartan TTL or the Mack Snorkel.
Members are reminded that the Union’s position on Aerial Appliance training is that members gaining an Aerial Appliance qualification will be trained on a 40 hour Black Watch course, not on shift. There are no exceptions to that policy.
Union Conference 2007
Some members may have been subject to rumours surrounding the Union Conference, which this year is being held in Australia.
The facts surrounding this are:
We are in a partnership with the United Firefighters Union of Australia, and as such, share joint conferences. The inaugural conference was held in 2006 in Wellington and this year’s conference is being held in Australia.
There will be 29 delegates attending this conference, paid for by the Union, not 40 as the rumour would have members’ believe. This is made up of 1 delegate from each of the 19 Locals and the Branch Executives, plus the Union Secretary, 10 in all, which for any members not mathematically inclined, amounts to 29. The Auckland Local delegate to Conference is John Geboers, the Auckland Local Vice President. The Northern Branch Delegates are Athol Conway, President, Jeff McCulloch, Vice President and Boyd Raines Secretary. These 3 are also members of the National Committee.
Auckland Local Committee Elections 2006
Having had regard to the legal implications of the 2006 elections, which were not run according to the Union Rules, in particular Rules B9.4.3 and B188.8.131.52.2,
the Auckland Local Executive have taken advice from the National Committee and have decided as follows:
An election will be held as soon as practicable after the Union Conference.
The election will call for 2 Officer representatives and 2 Firefighter representatives.
Only Officers will be entitled to vote for the Officer Reps and only firefighters will be entitled to vote for the firefighter reps.
This ballot will take at least 2 months to complete, so members should expect a result before February 2008.