The National President Ian Wright, National Vice President Joseph Stanley and I met with DCE People Brendan Nally, DCE Finance and Business Operations Darryl Purdy and FENZ lead negotiator Chris Wells last week seeking to push FENZ to vastly improve its position. We have been informed the FENZ representatives briefed ELT last week and we understand FENZ bargaining representatives were in further discussions today.
To date there is no official offer from FENZ as we have only received their financial response and responses to other claims which were explained in detail through NZPFU membership information-only video conferences recently. The membership information-only video conferences were a new process welcomed by members keen to understand in detail the bargaining process and discussions to date. Traditionally members have only been informed of the detail once an offer was received.
The National Council provided FENZ with the strong feedback received from members voicing anger and frustration at FENZ with its failure to address safety, health and wellbeing issues, to implement necessary safe systems of work claims including appropriate staffing levels and ratios, and the failure to properly address the unacceptable low wages across our membership.
The NZPFU has informed the FENZ representatives there would have to be significant improvement on their current financial position and responses to other claims if there was any genuine intention to settle. We were very clear that if an offer was provided based on FENZ’s current responses the National Committee would have no option but to recommend the membership rejects the offer and to recommend industrial action to the membership.
We are cognisant there are members that have not experienced collective bargaining or industrial action before. There are procedures that must take place in order to accept or reject any offer and secret ballots for any industrial action have to be taken at membership meetings. Members will be notified of any such meetings and processes. Ultimately any decision on any offer to settle the collective agreement or whether to take industrial action is made by the members. We have established an industrial action committee to ensure any implications for Locals and the different classifications of work covered by the bargaining are discussed and understood.
It is important you only get your information from your National Committee who have been part of the bargaining throughout (note that there have been Branch elections so not all of the current Committee have been involved).
Please raise any questions with your Branch representatives who were part of the bargaining team (Martin Campbell, Jeff Shrimpton and James Hall for the Northern Branch, Rob Hutchison and Greg Lee for the Central Branch and Mark Leonard and Graeme Gilroy for the Southern Branch) or the National President Ian Wright, National Vice President Joseph Stanley or me as National Secretary.