Most members will by now have read the Region Notice issued by FRM Butt which was rather scathing about the Auckland Local’s stance on Section 66 appointments.

Our stance is, and always has been, about maintaining MSM over the critical period of Christmas, New Year and school holidays. We, as a union, put our members interests before most other things, and we believe that giving our members as many opportunities for time with their families over this period is more important than giving our executive officers time off over the same period, particularly when they have refused to grant certain types of leave to our members during this period, even though the Auckland Local provided them with a very workable solution to the problem.

All of us, including the Region Management team, know that there are critical periods for rostering, and both the Auckland Local and Region Management, have done what they could to alleviate this situation. However, removing members from our pool of available staff, to fill their pool of staff, is not in the best interests of maintaining MSM.

It was interesting to note that at the Southdown fire, they were quite keen to bring executive officers from outside the region to allow their staff to leave the fireground, but not quite so keen to allow our staff to get relieved and leave the fireground. Some of our members were on the fireground for in excess of 14 hours without relief, mainly because of managements refusal to allow Black watch training courses for aerial appliance operators which has led to a chronic shortage of qualified staff on most specialist appliances thus leading to the situation described above.

The Auckland Regional Commander has claimed that they are short of executive officers and cannot function.
The total of executive officers has been 13 since 1975 when the service was nationalised. Under the proposed Area structure this number will drop to 12.
At present the Auckland Region has available to it for operational purposes, 12 executive officers, which is what they will have under the new structure due to commence sometime in February 2009.

The Auckland Local is at a loss to explain why 12 executives now, is any different to the 12 executives they will have in February, except that those executive officers will be substantive, whereas now 3 of them are either temporary under Section 66 or on special jobs.

For those members who doubt the veracity of the Local’s argument, the Executive Officers on the Auckland Region Executive Officer response roster are,
FRM Brian Butt, AFRM Murray Binning, AFRM Peter Wilding, AAFRM Denis O’Donoghue, CFO Brian Edwards, CFO Larry Cocker, ACFO Ross Taylor, ACFO Wayne Highet, DCFO Roger Callister, DCFO Andy Clarkson, DCFO Kerry Gregory and ADCFO Steve Lakin.
This amounts to 12, the number there will be after the restructure.
When the 2 latest forced Section 66 appointments take effect on 29th December 08 and 5th January 09, there will be 14, more than there have ever been in the Auckland Region.

FRM Butt advised the Auckland Local Executive that the main reason for the temporary appointments was that the newly appointed Area Managers would have to spend the next few weeks going around their newly aquired Areas talking to their new staff, mainly volunteer to explain the workings of the new structure. The Auckland Local is not convinced that this is a valid use of their very well remunerated time.

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