Most members will by now have read the latest spin from Regional Commander Butt on several issues which are of interest to the Auckland Local and its members.

Silverdale

In this section Regional Commander Butt expounds how Region have been concerned that the demand for services in the Hibiscus Coast area will soon exceed the capability of the current staffing mix to provide the residents of that area with the fire service that they both deserved and paid for.

The true situation is that the Fire Service have consistently attempted to foil every effort by the NZPFU to have the disgraceful manning situation at Silverdale rectified and, in fact, as far back as 2001, during the integration of the CST staff into the Union when the Union was trying to have the staffing increased to 24/7, have flatly refused to even recognise that there was a problem at Silverdale and on the Hibiscus Coast in general. The Union has, since that date, been applying pressure to the Fire Service to change the situation, and it appears, have finally succeeded in convincing them to do something about it.

The statement that a proposal from the Fire Service Regional Management to the Chief Executive to use both the additional staff budgeted for Te Atatu and a crew from Avondale is not quite what has been suggested by the Auckland Local. The true situation is that the Auckland Local has proposed that the staff budgeted for Te Atatu in the 08/09 financial year be moved to Silverdale and that the commencement date for this be 1 January 2008. (Resolution from ECB meeting). The Fire Service had always said that the finance would be available for the financial year 08/09 and that it may not be available until late in that year. This was not acceptable to the Union.

The National Secretary has written to the Chief Executive with certain proposals from the Union, that Silverdale and Manly Stations be incorporated into the North Shore Fire District, that Silverdale become an SSO station, that the staff protocols, yet to be agreed between the NZPFU and the NZFS, be implemented until such time as the Silverdale station becomes 24/7 manning, that the new stations at Mt. Roskill, Ponsonby and Te Atatu be built and operational.

Should these proposals be accepted by the NZFS Chief Executive Officer, then the NZPFU will not oppose the use of the numbers of staff from Avondale station to man Te Atatu and that the NZPFU will instruct it’s members to return to Silverdale on the basis of a secondment position, so that if any of the above conditions are breached we will immediately remove those members from Silverdale station and a ban on overtime at that station will again be imposed.

Aerial Appliances

In this section Regional Manager Butt makes some totally inaccurate statements regarding the position of the Auckland Local on aerial appliances.

It has always been the position of the Auckland Local, whichever committee has been appointed, that Auckland is woefully undermanned in aerial appliances and to make the statement as he has, that the Auckland Local Executive have said " that region have nearly got it right" is an absolute distortion of the truth. In fact, the Auckland Local and the Northern Branch Executive say "That region have got it absolutely wrong" and until they start listening to their staff and consulting properly with the Union, they will continue to get it "absolutely wrong".

The Auckland Local is moving closer to the situation that existed the last time that Management tried to bully staff into accepting an inferior appliance, when a ban on training was imposed and the Type 5 Bronto was sent to Christchurch. This intimidation by the Regional Manager is not being taken lightly by the Union, and similar action is being seriously considered.

The Auckland Local and Northern Branch point of view is that the Aerialscope is the most suitable, effective and desirable appliance for Auckland City, and until a Type 6 appliance is ordered and a delivery date set, the Union will continue to oppose the stupid decision that has apparently been made, without consultation, by Management, to decommission the Aerialscope and the Mack TTL and leave the Snorkel as the relief aerial appliance for the Auckland Region.

The attempt to circumvent the introduction of Type 6 aerials as promised by the National Commander on K99 video and verbally to the Northern Branch Vice President, by stating that it is the fault of Transit NZ, and the axle loadings are too great, is rubbish. All that is required is an application from the NZFS to Transit for an exemption. It is not a commercial vehicle and is only used for firefighting and rescue, and an exemption would be granted. It is just a pathetic attempt by the Fire Service to "keep it cheap" and they will use any excuse to do just that.

It seems to the Auckland Local and the Northern Branch that the attempt to link the Union with a statement like "the region has got it nearly right," when even a halfwit can see that when a city the size of Wellington has the same number of aerial appliances as Auckland with four or five times the population, the region has got it far from right, and Auckland should have at least 5 or 6 "high reach" aerials as well as the mini so called aerials, is doomed to failure and the Local and Branch will not take it lying down.

CFB Training

It has been Auckland Local policy for a number of years, and will continue to be so, that when acting as an instructor at 1 day courses, BA, CFB, First Aid etc, the instructor shall not be a part of the MSM figure. If the Regional Manager continues to try and intimidate staff into contravening this long standing practice, the Local will instruct its members not to act as instructors until this directive is withdrawn.

For the Regional Manager to compare instructing on a 1 day course with instructing staff on normal station training is like comparing apples with bananas, and should be treated with as much contempt.

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