Industrial Action

The Union filed Notice of Strike Action today, for North Island members – that is:

A ban on the use of any computer keyboard or computer mouse by any Union member employed in the North Island other than members in the Northern and Central Communications Centres.

The strike will commence at 0800 hours on 23 July 2009 and conclude at 0800 hours on 30 July 2009.

The strike will be continuous.

The strike will occur at all Fire Stations, Regional Offices and Training Centres in the North Island (but excluding the Northern and Central Communications Centres).

National Committee members will discuss all matters relating to the strike action with Local officials before the strike commences.

Please direct any queries to members of the National Committee.

Where Do These Figures Come From?

Members may have noticed Mike Hall’s Media Statement attacking your quite legitimate desire to maintain both your and your family’s standard of living and to maintain long established conditions of employment.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, in making his attack, Mike Hall is at best quite disingenuous.

Firstly Mike Hall notes after 6 months of negotiation, a settlement has not been able to be reached. Members will remember that for around half of this time – until early April – Mike Hall’s Bargaining Team had not received their bargaining parameters. They were therefore effectively unable to negotiate – presumably that’s what Mike Hall believes is bargaining in good faith.

Mike Hall then goes on to quote what he claims are “base remuneration” and uses figures of between $41,000 - $70,000.

This clearly will be a surprise to all members.

In fact the real figures are – using the Total Weekly Wages (which can be argued are not “base rates” as they include payment for working Weekends, Nights, Public Holidays, 2 hours overtime) between $36,000 - $63,300.

Mike Hall then tells the public that firefighters earned between $43,000 - $125,000 when overtime and other allowances are taken into account.

Our calculations show that an S.S.O. would need to work an average of about 40 hours overtime every working week to get to the $125,000 figure.

A S.F.F. would need to work an average of about 49 hours overtime every working week to get to the $125,000.

That is – on average a working week for an S.S.O. would be 82 hours every week.

A S.F.F. would need to work an average working week of 91 hours every week.

Mike Hall’s figures simply don’t stack up.

How do these average working weeks comply with the Fire Service’s own Hours of Work Policy – a policy the Fire Service uses to get the exemption for Driving Hours requirements?

Mike Hall also claims firefighters enjoy “extremely generous terms and conditions”

Again this may come as somewhat of a surprise to members.

But again Mike Hall’s figures are incorrect.

He claims firefighters receive 5.2 weeks Annual Leave a year, increasing to 6 weeks after 7 year’s service.

But the fact is that the C.A. provides for 32 days Annual Leave a year equating to 4 weeks and 4 days. After 7 year’s service 3 days Service Leave is available – a total of 5 weeks.

So Mike, where is the extra week’s leave? How can members apply for the extra week? Will it be backdated?

Mike Hall then states that firefighters are in addition entitled to 28 days Sick Leave a year.

Not surprisingly he fails to mention that the Fire Service’s offer reduces this to 12 days a year, rising to 14 days after 14 year’s service.

Mike Hall finishes by saying “we are committed to continue discussions with the Union….”

The Union says to Mike Hall – if you are genuine then “we” ought to include you and you need to use Real Facts – Real Figures.

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Following the close of the ballot for the election of Rotorua Local President (see attached for details), I hereby declare: BLAIR TROTMAN duly elected.