One of the ideas that came up during the Auckland Working Group was to change the shift start/finish times to 0700/1700 to reflect the actual times Auckland Firefighters’ work.
A question covering this was asked in the survey we carried out, and we received a significant majority in favour of the change (58% said move to 0700/1700; 21% said move to 0600/1600). However, due to some tactical decisions made at the time and confusion amongst Auckland NZPFU members as to what the change would actually entail, the recommendation was not advanced.
The Auckland Local now wants to push to have this change made. We believe this offers significant benefit to members, most notably, if you are waiting for your jump to arrive from a different station or returning from a late call, then you will be able to claim overtime. The jump times we currently observe help us in that we have scope to avoid the worst of the traffic but this should not come at the cost of regularly working what is, in effect, unpaid overtime.
It is anticipated that this proposed change would entail no material change from current practice. As per normal, you will turn up at 0700/1700 to jump, carry out routine duties/BA checks until 0800/1800 and then get on with the rest of your shift.
When the idea was raised as part of the AWG, the main concern that AM/AAMs had was that jump times would move to 0600/1600, leading to a loss in productivity. This proposal is not about changing productivity, it is about making a variation to a policy to reflect what we already do.
We are not aware of anyone who regularly turns up to work after 0700/1700, but if you do, then you would be required to make some changes or make arrangements with someone at your station to stay late. Nobody would be obliged to stay past 0700/1700.
Here is a link to a very short survey to assess whether firefighters support the Auckland Local Committee in pushing for this change:https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=pX8_-1gNx0GqJPcLmyIgxkBVKzC18UJNohaDdPowpEFUOUdBSUpJS0tOOFhOUFc4SzEySEMyOE5NUi4u
It is important that you take part. We need a clear mandate one way or the other. There is room for you to make any comments if you wish to explain your choice.
If we can get the change accepted by FENZ, then we would suggest it is implemented on a 3-6 month trial basis, after which feedback is sought from Auckland Firefighters to give it the thumbs up/down or make any tweaks to the policy.
Feel free to contact any of the Auckland Local Committee members if you have questions or concerns that haven't been covered here.
FAQs from the AWG Roadshows:
Does this mean I'll be expected to arrive at work at 0600/1600?
No. Nothing changes. The vast majority of us already turn up to work just before 0700/1700. The proposal is effectively a paper change, just keep doing what you already do.
What if my boss wants to do drill at 1700?
The proposed change is not intended to alter the way we currently do things, and we don't think that this situation would be likely or common. If the change is made and this leads to what you consider to be unreasonable changes to your work day, then in the first instance you should talk about this as a crew. If you are unable to resolve the situation, please contact your local NZPFU Rep and we will be happy to facilitate a discussion. However, we should all bear in mind that once you jump, you are on duty. There is nothing currently that stops anyone from doing drill at 1700 or any other time.
What if the AAM wants us to drill at 0700?
Again, it is not intended that current practice changes and we don't think this is likely. If the change is made and you feel this leads to unreasonable requests from your managers, then please contact your local NZPFU Rep. We should all note that official Yellow Watch hours are 0700 - 1730 and we have had no reports of Yellow Watch crews being asked to do anything unreasonable at 0700, apart from turning up to work at Titirangi without going insane.
What if I'm going to be late because of traffic/kids?
As you do now, call the station to say you are running late and ask if someone can stay back until you arrive. Anyone who stays back would not be paid OT for doing so as this is, in effect, a stand in.
When would I be able to claim OT for staying late?
The details are to be finalised, but it is anticipated that if you return late from a call or are waiting for someone to turn up from a different station, then you can claim OT. Potentially, this could apply from 0700/1700 for each 15 minutes or part thereof or the first ten minutes could be free but after that you claim half an hour and then every 15 minutes or part thereof from 0730/1730.
If I am waiting for my jump to come from Yellow Watch, do I have to stay past 1700?
No, nobody will be obliged to stay past their shift finish time. However, there will be an expectation that all efforts will be made to ensure that MSS is maintained. This could potentially be facilitated by Rosters staff or the Firefighter working the OT confirming that someone is prepared to stay back. In the vast majority of situations, we currently maintain MSS up to and beyond 0800/1800, the only difference, if the change is made, is that you will be paid for the extra time you spend at work.
Again, if you have any questions just give your Local Representative a call.