It is vital that members attend their Ratification Meetings to have your vote – a high turnout will ensure that whichever way members vote, the vote has credibility.

The Committee has noted the newsletter from Auckland Local Committee recommending that the Auckland membership reject the proposed Settlement.

The Committee sees it as unfortunate that this resolution was adopted by the Auckland Local Committee before they had had an opportunity to view the Settlement itself.

Their newsletter advises that the only document they had available was a Fire Service document entitled Flexible Rostering. If this is so, it is not surprising a recommendation to reject was adopted – the National Committee would recommend this way also. However, the Fire Service Flexible Rostering document is not the proposed Settlement. The proposed Settlement does not include Flexible Rostering.

There are a number of inaccuracies in the Newsletter – one being the process for voting at ratification meetings – voting takes place at the conclusion of the meeting after the completion of discussion/deliberation.

It is worth considering what may be the employer’s actual desire regarding Employment Agreements for members – what the employer’s alternative is to the proposed Collective Agreement.

The Individual Employment Agreements on Firenet give a pretty clear steer as to what the employer wishes to see in your Employment Agreement – and consequently how far away from this employer wish list the proposed Settlement is:
The Individual Agreements:

1. Have no expiry date ‐ Unless the employer agrees you cannot renegotiate the agreement – not even for a pay rise.

2. Change of Watch ‐ This clause is gone in the I.E.A. The I.E.A. provides that you can be given 48 hours notice of a Change of Watch – potentially ensuring that the employer can tell you when you return from Annual Leave, you are starting back on another Watch, meaning you will not get the extra days at the end of your 14 days every 160.

3. Progression ‐ The I.E.A. does not maintain any timeframe attached to the completion of service before progression/promotion can occur.

This, amongst other things, would remove the employer’s responsibility to run courses required to complete a programme within a required timeframe.

The I.E.A. also states “at the completion of the required TAPs programme or whatever programme the employer replaces it with”. So the employer can change the TAPs system at their discretion and potentially this could allow one programme for all staff, both professional and volunteer.

4. Programmed Work ‐ The I.E.A. does not contain any present C.A. provisions providing programmed work between 0800 and 1700 hours on day shifts and 1800 and 2200 hours night shifts. The I.E.A. also provides for no proposed work on nominated Public Holidays (e.g. Christmas).
Potentially therefore this means programmed work 24/7.

5. Physical Fitness Training ‐ The I.E.A. makes no provision for an hour for P.T. Training.

6. Work Accident ‐ The I.E.A. does not include Occupational Diseases as work related accidents.

7. Hepatitis B ‐ The I.E.A. contains no provision for vaccination at employer cost.

8. Gratuity ‐ The I.E.A. does not include provision for a Gratuity.

9. Exam Policy ‐ The I.E.A. contains no provision for time off for sitting exams.

10. Entitlement for Courses ‐ The I.E.A. contains a very watered down list of entitlements compared to the C.A. e.g. missing is telephone calls.

11. Towel & Soap ‐ The I.E.A. does not provide for the supply of towels and soap.

12. Cooking, Eating & Cleaning Facilities ‐ The I.E.A. does not mention the provision of these things.

13. Individual Lockers ‐ The I.E.A. does not provide for an individual locker for each worker.

14. Laundry Facilities ‐ The I.E.A. does not provide for Laundry Facilities on Station.

15. Alternative Holidays ‐ The I.E.A. determines that a Public Holiday shall run from 0800 – 0800 hours.
The C.A. defines a Public Holiday to run 0800 – 2400 hours. This means that you will not get Alternative Holidays for Night Shifts before a Public Holiday.

16. Flexible Rostering ‐ The I.E.A. provides for full Flexible Rostering.

17. Other Business Activities ‐ The I.E.A. provides that you must have written consent from the employer to engage in any other business or secondary employment. The I.E.A. also points out that the employer reserves the right to terminate employment if the employer believes that any worker’s secondary employment is interfering with his or her performance or ability to carry out the worker’s duties.

18. Direct Credit ‐ The I.E.A. does not contain the allowance to cover banking costs.

19. Phone ‐ The I.E.A does not provide for “Staff Telephone”.

20. Containers for gear ‐ The I.E.F. does not provide for such containers.

21. Bed Linen ‐ The I.E.A. does not provide for bed linen to be supplied.

22. Enhances Packages ‐ The I.E.A. does not contain “grand‐fathering” for the Enhanced Salary Package provided for some Black Watch, Comm. Centre Workers and for ex CSTs.

This is not a complete list of the conditions of employment in the I.E.A. – you can view the I.E.A. on Firenet yourself. However, just adding up the cost savings for the reduction in Alternative Holidays alone, the new I.E.A. would save the employer huge amounts.

If the proposed Collective Agreement is not ratified and there is no Collective Agreement for Firefighters, then unfortunately but realistically, the I.E.A. comes back into play. 
This would be what is offered to new employees and to those wanting a transfer from one District to another.

Those arguing that the proposed Settlement be rejected are probably unwittingly allowing the employer to introduce the I.E.A.


Use of Fire Service E‐mail system

The Committee reminds members again that it is quite inappropriate to use the Fire Service e‐mail system to conduct Union business.

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Season’s Greetings and Office Hours

The Auckland Local wishes all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The Auckland Office will be closed from the afternoon of Friday 23 December 2022, reopening on Monday 9 January 2023.

Ratification Meeting next Tuesday 13th Dec at 5pm

As you will be well aware by now, we have finally reached an agreed term of settlement in the negotiation for a new CEA. The NZPFU is recommending members accept it and ratify the settlement offer. The National Committee has completely wrung out the sponge for every possible drop of benefit to members, and it's now our turn to act.