The Union is extremely concerned by the latest spin put out by Regional Commander Butt. He continues to distort the truth for his own nefarious reasons.

Ross Taylor is NOT a substantive CFO, he has never been appointed to a District and the rank of CFO can only be held if an officer is in charge of a Gazetted Fire District. He wears the rank markings of a CFO and is probably paid according to that salary scale, but he is NOT a Chief Fire Officer. He has not even been an Acting Deputy CFO for any length of time.

The point he makes about having 2 acting ranks in charge of a District is a very valid one. However, it has to be asked why a substantive Deputy Chief Fire Officer was not appointed, for example, from the North Shore Fire District, to the position of Acting CFO Waitakere, as was done in Auckland City East some time ago.

It is also very interesting that FRM Butt refers to McErlich as a Station Officer. He has never been appointed to the rank of Station Officer and probably never will be. He was a Senior Firefighter when he jumped the fence and was never promoted under the Collective Agreement to Station Officer, which also begs the question, how he and his other fence jumper mate, posing as a Station Officer, were allowed to sit the SSO’s examination when the CEA requires that any person sitting the SSO’s exam must be a ‘real’ Station Officer?

Members should be aware that the mediated settlement agreed to, and referred to by FRM Butt in his Region Notice, was an agreed position between the then Regional Commander Paul McGill and the NZPFU. The intention of this settlement was to ensure that no opportunity for conflict would occur by bringing together Union members and staff who were refused Union membership because of their actions during the Review and its aftermath. FRM Butt seems hell bent on destroying this arrangement which has worked more or less satisfactorily since 2003. The Union has been unable to ascertain why.

The Union is becoming increasingly more concerned, as is NHQ, by the antagonistic behaviour of the Auckland Regional Manager; and his appointment of Ross Taylor and McErlich to the aforementioned positions is evidence that he is deliberately attempting to cause friction between the Union and Regional Management.

We are also very interested in his answer to his own question 2 that “it is inappropriate to take more staff off shift when other options exist”. We are more than prepared to assist him in that regard and will be instructing our members who are at present acting as DCFO’s to relinquish those positions and return to their normal positions on shift.

His final paragraph has elements of truth in it, but do not forget it was FRM Butt and his peers who said yes to the Review, and put the NZFS in the situation that caused the problems of the nineties. The Union believes that a large number of those people who were appointed to senior positions during the Review and who probably would not be where they are today had it not been for the Review, still have the same agenda and will not hesitate to resurrect it should the government change later this year.

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