The NZPFU will continue to push for guaranteed staffing, proper processes for procuring and maintaining appliances and equipment and fair wages when the parties again meet in mediation this week.

Last week the NZPFU gave notice of one-hour stoppages between 11 and 12 noon on Friday 19th and Friday 26th August 2022. At the same time the NZPFU sought urgent mediation and it has been agreed mediation will take place this week on Wednesday and Thursday.

Some of the issues yet to be resolved include:

  • Guaranteed safe staffing levels -  FENZ is currently breaching the minimum staffing level in some areas almost on a daily level.  FENZ has already agreed the staffing ratio is too low so needs to agree that it will be increased and to agree to programme to recruit for that increase now!
  • Including the NZPFU in robust and transparent processes to assess plan for the necessary resourcing for New Zealand’s needs now and into future including staffing, appliances, vehicles and equipment.
  • Health programmes to assist with early identification of indicators for occupational cancer, cardiac and other occupational illnesses and injuries
  • Recorded recognition of occupational cancer – FENZ still refuses to cover some cases despite the wealth of evidence and the World Health Organisation deeming the occupational of firefighting as carcinogenic to humans
  • A reimbursement allowance for income protection and/or medical/life insurance.  FENZ currently automatically pays for income protection insurance for all non-operational staff yet is refusing to provide any assistance to operational personnel
  • A robust and transparent process to ensure medical responders (including the 111 emergency centre dispatchers) have access to appropriate programmes including resilience training, ongoing and unlimited access to professional health providers and a programme that does not rely on self-reporting
  • In 2018 the record of settlement acknowledged that the firefighter job size did not include medical response so financial recognition of medical response is long overdue
  • Also in 2018 FENZ recognised staffing levels were too low and there was a particular issue of recruitment and retention in Auckland.  FENZ then refused to implement recommendations from the Auckland Taskforce – compensation for the additional costs of living and working in large metro areas is long overdue as well
  • Fair wages that respects the work of our membership.  The disparity between administrative employees and the work of our membership is extraordinary and demonstrates a lack of value and respect for NZPFU members.
  • Transparent and consistent progression for trainers, VSOs and CRR and RR members
  • Immediate process to address the unsafe VSO workloads and remedy the wage disadvantages for VSOs and the CRR and RR members resulting from FENZ’s 2020 restructure
  • Addressing the risk to the safety of communications centre members co-located with Police and the known risks at shift change times
  • Removal of FENZs attack on the consultation and dispute processes

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary

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