The NZPFU and FENZ representatives met in mediation today to discuss the NZPFU dispute contesting FENZ’s intention to preference unqualified and inexperienced personnel over professional career firefighters for proposed new positions.
In the current proposal and draft Employee Transition Protocol if an employee’s substantive position is disestablished they will be given preference for newly created positions. In practical terms that means employees that are not qualified and experienced professional career firefighters will be given preference for proposed Group Manager positions over Senior Station Officers currently seconded into these management level positions. The current proposal preferences unqualified and inexperienced personnel managing professional career firefighters and does not have any protections to stop them deploying and taking over the management of emergency incidents.
The NZPFU is seeking to enforce appointment rights under the current collective employment agreement. We have also been very clear with FENZ that the health and safety of professional career firefighters and the public will be at grave risk should the current proposal be implemented.
The NZPFU filed the matter in the Employment Relations Authority in October and was mediated today. As mediation is conducted in a confidential manner we cannot detail the discussions held today but can disclose that the matter was not resolved. The matter will now be set down for hearing.
FENZ have notified employees that it is still considering the feedback received through the consultation process and is yet to announce any finalised structure. Approximately 1000 NZPFU members provided submissions during the consultation process.