Well work has well and truly started to ramp up here! There’s a few things I would like to cover off on this blog.
Firstly, we have our monthly meeting with management booked for today. We hold these meetings to discuss issues and problems before they get to dispute level – this is challenging and productive work and is a priority for us. The February agenda is full and includes so far;
|Updated spreadsheet for pay runs for the office||Uniform procurement, standards and strategy|
|Holiday pay,pay back pay||Surveys, lack of consultation|
|Operations department secondments||Update on pay data Korn Ferry|
|Volunteers and rural fire pay, employment implications||Terms of settlement, IFE, Medical recognition, Job sizing, Comcen National forums|
|Reimbursements for travel etc. streamline process||Fire ops 101|
|15 high priority functions and projects||Back dating pay rises and HDL Super|
|District support officers||May values conference|
|Levy||Local risk modelling and capability planning|
|Operational crew increases||Organisational design|
|Regional trainers/senior, requirements, secondments||Difference in PSA and CEA values black watch|
|Carcinogen plan/campaign||Overtime travel time arrangements|
Usually, the National Commander, Director P and C, Employment relations advisors, Media, Director training, a career board member and an Area commander
and others who we need to talk to about specific topics come along to talk to the Council plus one National Committee member, This time Boyd Raines
is coming along with Wattie, Joe and myself.
Carcinogens and firefighters, I’m pretty sure we all know the inherent dangers our job poses to our health over the medium to long term in respect of absorption,
inhalation etc of carcinogenic material from products of combustion. We are busily organising a concentrated campaign to attempt a legislative change
for firefighters. We have access to the world leaders in this area and we will be using them. One world leader is our own Secretary Wattie Watson.
Just a short reminder to bag and tag contaminated fire gear, shower asap, replace and wash your helmet liners, send away your flash hoods, every time you’re
in a fire, and plug in your exhaust extractors. It is unforgivable not to in this day and age. Diesel is already listed as a class 1 carcinogen.
We are pleased to announce that we have had our request to meet with The Honourable Iain Lees-Galloway, minister for worksafe agreed to. We are very pleased
to have our request accepted and will make the most of this opportunity to explain, inform and impress upon him and his advisors, the scale of carcinogens
the firefighters are exposed to on a daily basis.
Job sizing is coming up soon, we have Comcen operators/dispatchers sorted as we do FRMO’s, however we need representatives from the VSO group and trainer
groups please. Can you please forward your names if you’re interested in undertaking this process to inform the job sizing process for these parts
of the CEA to email@example.com.
We have already got good contacts in training with John Barlow and Danny Beban providing expert opinions and advice. We have Peter Hallett all over
FRMO and he is involving Darren Aitken in his work also. Mau Barbara, Carlos Dempsey and Carren Larking are invaluable within the Comcen environment.
These are great development opportunities for our members and we are always looking for more people to step up in this space.
On the Comcen, we are inviting those 3 reps along to our special conference in May in Auckland. We are hoping to look at changing our representation models
and starting with the Comcen, we are looking at opportunities to improve their access and influence. If this works out we will definitely be looking
at further changes down the track.
The May conference is progressing well, we are looking forward to developing our work on Values, Leadership and Strategy. We are also combining this conference
and creating space for branch meetings. This is important work, where the Locals from each branch can get together and discuss progress, issues and
network, this also provides us with an opportunity to conduct elections for returning officers.
We are preparing a submission on the Tranche 1, Service Delivery Leadership team consultation document. This document is very short on detail and the mere
mention that the most senior operational leaders in FENZ do not have to come from Career Firefighter ranks is a major concern for us. We will make
our submission available online so that you can read and use it as a guide to make your own views known.
The rubber is about to hit the road in the rank, role and command and control space now that the new Deputy Chief Executive of Operations (service delivery,
hate that title) Kerry Gregory has taken up his position in Wellington. We have a meeting set for early on the 13th to catch him up with
our views on the world of FENZ and all those important functions that affect Career Firefighters and the public. We have some very serious meetings
and work is being undertaken this week and we see no change to that for our reps involved in the coming weeks.
The MOU/code of conduct which will more than likely be re-named as the Charter, is extremely close to being agreed upon, we are just waiting on final signatures
to from Local, Branch and National officials. This document sets out the expectations for how we behave toward each other, our members and the employer.
It is an important document as it allows us to progress the NZPFU into a modern, relevant trade union, which reflects and responds to the needs of
its members, it is about us being more accountable, more accessible and more available. The collective we, is the future of our Union, we need to continually
plan for the future, who’s next, where is our talent coming from, what are the barriers to our members from being involved. Being part of this union
should be a positive environment, affecting change, influencing management and members in a productive way is challenging work but it should encourage
belonging and participation. We are incredibly lucky to have the conditions we have, we are one of very few unions that enjoy 99.9% density in membership,
which is a great advantage to our cause and should never be taken for granted.
Check out our new web page for Life Honorary members at www.nzpfu.org.nz/honours
We need to continue to build on the great work these members and former members have done.
A new secure NZPFU members forum is nearly ready to go live. We need you! We need moderators for our forum groups/topics please. If you think you can assist
with moderation then please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Pages for the forum are:
- General - A general message board for non specific discussion
- Auckland Task Force group - A message board for the Auckland task force group members to interact and discuss Auckland specific issues around the Task force arising out of the Terms of settlement 2018
- Comcen - A specific discussion page for Comcen Communicators
- FRMO - A specific discussion page for Fire Risk Managers and Fire Investigators
- Trainers - A specific discussion page for Regional and National Trainers
- VSO’s - A specific discussion page for Volunteer / District support officers
- Local Secretaries - A discussion page specifically for the 19 Local Secretaries to communicate and discuss their issues and commonalities
- Training - A forum specific to the training topic, this is a very important topic for firefighters and firefighting community
- Command and Control - A forum specifically to discuss Command and control and the Union’s position and direction
- Health and Safety - A forum specifically for H & S and wellbeing concerns, discussion
Moderators will be given governing and guiding rules. This is the first cut at a secure online forum and we see this evolving as topics change, ideas for
improvement and development from members influencing the direction and content of the forum. More information about joining and contributing will be
Lastly, In terms of Judge Coral Shaws recent review and some of the comments contained within, we can’t forget about the past, however, we shouldn’t let
it define or restrict us into the future, there are too many opportunities for Professional Career Firefighters to be ignored. We just need to be organised.
New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union