In October 2019 the NZPFU notified FENZ that its intention to give preference to personnel who are not qualified or experience career firefighters for proposed District and Group Manager positions was in breach of the requirements to appoint the best-suited person to any vacancy, and a breach of FENZ’s primary duty of care to provide safe systems of work.
The NZPFU filed the dispute in the Employment Relations Authority and sought removal to the Employment Court. While the Authority declined the removal, as a result of the NZPFU’s subsequent application to the Employment Court special leave to remove to the Court has been granted.
Chief Judge Christina Inglis agreed that the matter raises important questions of law.
“I am satisfied that the dispute in this case raises an important question of law and that the question lies at the heart of the matter. It will involve interpreting provisions of the parties’ collective agreement in the context of statutory provisions which have not yet been examined by the Court, within an overlay of a workplace which sits within the State sector and delivers emergency services.”
A copy of the Employment Court decision on the removal application is available for download. FENZ supported the applications for removal to the Employment Court.
The dates of hearing are yet to be determined.