This notice is to inform members within the Waitemata Fire Area that a formal Dispute has been lodged with the Fire Service under Clause 2.8.2.1 of the Collective Agreement.

Members within the Waitemata Fire Area will, by now, be well aware of the attack on the conditions and entitlements of a set group of individuals. This is in the form of a letter from AAM Highet informing the individual of the unilateral suspension of their ability to utilise the taking of a USL, along with the requirement that they call an AM or AAM from that Area in order to take any form of sick leave.

The inference is that the employer has reasonable grounds to suspect that the sick leave being taken is not genuine. The obvious implication with this is that the employee is being dishonest.

Several affected members have been in contact with the Union to express their dissatisfaction at this unfair and illegal attack on their sick leave provisions. The Union agrees with these members that the letter represents an Adverse Entry (as per Clause 1.5), on their respective P Files.

As this is a dispute regarding the interpretation, implementation & operation of the C.A., the Union expects that the Peace Obligation will be honoured.

As the circumstances that prevailed prior to the matter becoming subject to this procedure was that members with USL’s remaining in their sick leave entitlement could access them as required, the Union advises members:

“The usual method of notifying sick leave and the operation of uncertified or qualifying sick leave be continued forthwith”, and, “Members are no longer required to attend any meeting within Area 3 to receive a letter regarding the alleged abuse of sick leave entitlements”.

It is interesting to note that, following consultation with other Locals, the Waitemata Fire Area is the only one the Union is aware of in the country implementing this unfair and punitive process, well outside of the terms outlined within the draft Absence Management Procedure.

Should any member be subject to any bullying and/or harassment from Area 3 Managers they need to immediately direct that Manager to contact the Union.

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