Members will be aware of Notice to Members ALC/07-50 dated 2 May 2007.

Interestingly, this NOTICE TO MEMBERS drew comment from NON Union members.

A notice to members is just that, to our members, for their information. It is issued to provide information, encourage comment from members on an issue etc.

The following notice was issued from the office of the CEO following on from our NTM:

“Recently I have become aware of some misunderstanding, and perhaps misinformation, surrounding the fire service approach to developing a National Resource Allocation Model (NRAM). It seems that in parts of both the paid and volunteer sectors of the organisation some people are misconstruing the intent of NRAM and placing somewhat negative connotations upon it.

I'm also advised anecdotally that some local resourcing initiatives and/or change proposals at both Region and District level may be using NRAM as their justification and mandate. If this is in fact occurring then it runs the risk of damaging the goodwill, support and participation in the NRAM process we currently enjoy from stakeholders such as the UFBA, NZPFU and Chief's Society.

For the record the current state of play as regards NRAM is this:

  1. The 1st principles document was presented and discussed at the NZFS Partnership Conference last December. The concept of NRAM and its underpinning principles were accepted by our partner agencies and they agreed to become involved in the future development and deployment of NRAM via a high level steering group. 

  2. A NRAM participation clause was also included in the Collective Employment Agreement, which is due to undergo the ratification process in the immediate future. 

  3. The steering group has met and drafted terms of reference and proposed work streams which have yet to be signed off by Mike Hall

  4.  At this point NO Region or District has been given any direction to undertake any form of fleet, equipment or personnel resource changes as a result of the NRAM

No doubt you will appreciate the keen interest, and sensitivities, all fire service stakeholders have in what the future resourcing of our organisation will look like and the implications for their respective memberships. It is therefore extremely important that a full and open consultative process is undertaken and that any proposals arising from the NRAM are clearly communicated. Any misinformation or misunderstanding at this point about what NRAM seeks to achieve runs the risk of jeopardising the involvement and support of our partners in this important piece of work.

I would appreciate it if you could clearly communicate the above situation to your respective managers and staff, particularly if any questions are asked or you become aware of any campaign of misinformation targeting the NRAM development process.

Brett Warwick Chief Executive (Acting)”

The Auckland Local has been in dialogue, in written form and face to face, with Region Management on issues surrounding Aerial responses to the large number of risks in the region and how best to respond to these.

April 30th AFRM Neil issued a notice that saw the removal of aerial appliances to sprinkled risk in the Auckland CBD. We again wrote to Management expressing our ‘dismay’ at this!

The Union met with FRM Butt on Friday 4th and this issue was discussed at length. FRM Butt assured the Union that NRAM was not the driver for these changes.

The following has been received by the Union in relation to this matter from FRM Butt. The ‘guts’ is:

“In your letter dated 2 May 2007 you express dismay at the removal of aerials from PDA's and I must admit given my understanding of our agreement (which is reflected in the region notice of 16th March) I have been somewhat bemused by the Unions position stated in that letter and in the notice to members published on the NZPFU website that day. Having said that, I can accept that the delay in the Police instigating the data changes ( i.e. in excess of a month) may have promoted the thought that the changes were not going to happen - thus the changes came as a surprise to those concerned. Carrying on that thought, I have reviewed the content of the region notice to determine whether we communicated the changes in a manner that clearly identified the intent of region. While I understand what has been said in that region notice, I can also understand that many may have missed the intent amongst the remainder of the text.

Having said that, I have acted on my understanding of our agreed position of the time and the actions we agreed were required to ensure appropriate risk-based appliance responses in the future. I was firmly of the opinion that you (in representing the Union on this matter) held the same view of our agreed position and future approach. It seems from the Unions response to this matter that we don't share the same view. I remain committed to dealing with issues of this nature in accordance with the principles of our partnership agreement and with that in mind our meeting this morning worked through these issues and I understand our agreement on the matter in terms of the next steps to be:

(1) Region will complete the current work with Commcen to ensure a robust 'sprinkler shut-down' notification procedure is in place which enables the operator to revert to the zone PDA for responses to sprinklered buildings when sprinkler systems are inoperable. (AFRC Neil, Mears and Eric Smith to complete)

(2) Until that shut-down procedure is in operation, the Commcen will continue to add 'aerial/s' to SRZ sprinklered buildings. We expect this to be completed by mid June at which time the adjusted sprinklered building response will be applied. (AFRC Neil to instruct Commcen re 'adding aerial's' to current 90 zone responses 4th May)

(3) That we agree the current risk-based review of PDA's is a 'business-as-usual' process and in no way links to the development of NRAM which is currently the subject of a partnership project at a national level. In saying that we recognise that NRAM may produce the final solution in terms of PDA's to specific risks in the future.

(4) That we proceed as quickly as possible to put in place the building survey (408) process and the administration support system enabling Firefighters to visit buildings and collect data related to Firefighter and public safety and in doing so identify buildings that may require an enhanced response. Those buildings that require an enhanced response will then create a SRZ and the next possible data-dump by Police will change the responses accordingly. (the Fire Region Management group along with NZPFU rep/s to progress this matter with the expectation that it be available to Firefighters by 1 July and input in to business plans for the 2007/08 year)”

So…you, the members, now having read The CEO’s (Acting) notice, which can also be found on the UFBA web site; and a section of FRM Butt’s letter to the Auckland Local, can make an informed opinion on the issues.

Any queries regarding this notice should be addressed to the Union Office in the normal manner.

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