The Auckland Local wishes all Members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. A reminder that the Auckland Office will be closed from Wednesday 23 December until Tuesday 5 January 2021.
Members are asked that over the holiday period whilst our Local Representatives take some well- earned breaks with their family members, that any contact is kept for urgent assistance only. Local Representatives can be contacted during the holidays via email, where they will respond to requests when available.
2020 will go down in the history books as the most challenging in recent memory, with personal and financial strains caused by the arrival of COVID-19 still present whilst we all await the arrival of the expected vaccine sometime next year.
Financial strains for Auckland members from Firefighters, Dispatchers, Trainers and Fire Risk Management, are even more prevalent now with ever increasing house prices and increasing food and accommodation costs. Never has it been more expensive to work for Fire and Emergency and live in Auckland.
With the Collective Contract expiring next year and negotiations to begin, the Local will arrange a series of meetings early next year in each of the Areas to get feedback from the membership as to what it is they would like to be included in the next Collective Agreement.
FENZ have continued to ignore the outcomes of the Auckland Working Group, giving only platitudes, apologies and excuses. The views of the Auckland membership are more important than ever, ensuring that the message is passed on in no uncertain terms that we will no longer tolerate inaction.
Eagle eyed members will have noted in the recently released 2019/20 Annual Report from FENZ, the figures around the insurance levy, and the fact that the majority of the payment comes from commercial and domestic levy payers, the majority of these being located in Region One, Te Hiku.
Additionally, the report highlights that for two years running, response targets for career firefighters to arrive at structure fires within eight minutes have been unable to be met, with urban sprawl and traffic congestion continuing to present challenges to our staff. Instead of FENZ addressing the problem by increasing staffing levels and adding additional resourcing for career staff, they are instead changing the rules by looking at the “effectiveness of the response”, or in other words, moving the goal posts.
The Local believes it is essential that FENZ puts back into the communities that provide the majority of the funding for Fire Emergency, and adequately funds and resources the critically important response sector, providing a first world, trained emergency service.
The recent survey conducted by the Local around a proposal to change the shift start and finish times for operational and dispatch staff has concluded with a strong majority of 85% wishing for the Local to formally begin the process by taking it to the National Committee for discussions with FENZ.
The Local will keep members abreast of all the above issues and announcements in the New Year.
Once again, the Local wishes all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.