The Fire Service has advised the Union that all Regions now return to the status quo position regarding minimum payments for call-outs for Black Watch workers. It became apparent by the end of last week that the only Regions continuing to resist this position were Transalpine and Auckland.

The Union was then advised that the Transalpine position was as a result of a misunderstanding and that in fact Transalpine was maintaining the status quo.

Yesterday afternoon, after further discussions with Human Resources, Auckland agreed to follow the Fire Service position and similarly go back to the status quo.

The action of Black Watch members has therefore been completely successful and vindicated. The solidarity shown by Black Watch members was a tremendous example of solidarity and what solidarity can achieve.

Black Watch members are advised therefore to return to the use of Pagers and resume on-call duties as previously.

The Union remains concerned however how one or two Regions – in fact Regional Managers – believe they can act separately and independently and can be allowed to do so.

There is one employer – the N.Z. Fire Service Commission, and the employer’s powers of the Commission are statutorily delegated to the Chief Executive.

There is one Collective Agreement negotiated and agreed with the Chief Executive.

There are not separate or different conditions between Regions. The Union sees any Regional Manager attempting to dictate conditions of employment not provided for in the C.A., or applying the C.A. inconsistently with the Fire Service’s position determined by the Chief Executive, as a clear Breach of the Standards of Conduct, and should be treated as such.

The Chief Executive is not paid in excess of $370,000 as year to simply sit back and let his Regional Managers subvert the C.A. and the relationship between the Union and its members and the employer.

The successful actions of Black Watch workers in this matter is a clear demonstration to all members as to what response is necessary to any provocative action by management in the future.

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