Strike Action

Further Notice of Strike Action has been lodged to commence at 0800 hours on 17 September – 0800 hours 24 September 2009.

The Strike Notice is identical to that being undertaken at present and due to commence at 0800 hours 10 September 2009.

To summarize that action:

a) Blue, Red, Brown, Green and Yellow Watch: - Only respond to emergency incidents and restore appliances to operational readiness. This includes the action as in b) below. The details of this action were clarified in e-news 12 August and e-news 25 August.

b) Black Watch:
    - A Ban on the use of computer keyboard or mouse.

c) Communications Centre Workers:
    - A ban on the processing of the closing off of incidents.
    - A ban on the auditing of any greater alarm incidents.

d) Trainee Firefighters & Trainers involved in Training Course NTC 0309 are exempt from the action.

Further Information regarding the Strike Action:

a) Black Watch workers are not to undertake any work not being done by Operational Watches.

b) Operational Watch workers are not to be temporarily placed on Black Watch so as to allow work, other than responding to emergency incidents and restoring appliances to operational readiness e.g., training

c) For those on Light Duties, where the bulk of the specific rehabilitation plan can be carried out, Light Duties can continue.

Collective Agreement Negotiations

The Committee is aware of the arbitrated decision regarding the Police and the resulting 2% wage increase and roll-over of conditions of employment.

The Committee will be formally considering any implications of the decision next week, including the details/rationale of the decision.

The Union expects that the Fire Service Commission is similarly engaged in an identical exercise.

However, given the direct government control of all present State Sector wage bargaining, the Union can only hope that Ministers accept the significance of the Police decision and amend their instructions accordingly.

Officership Allowance - Alleged Overpayment

The Fire Service claim of an overpayment of this Allowance arising out of the last Collective Agreement Settlement was heard in the Employment Relations Authority in Wellington on 1 September 2009.

The Authority determined to commence the investigation into the Fire Service claim by selecting six Wellington Officers whom the Fire Service claims were overpaid.

As previously advised, the Union sees that, before anyone needs to consider whether or not to repay the alleged overpaid amount, the Fire Service must prove that an overpayment has in fact occurred.

They have not done this and did not do so at the Authority hearing.

The Union continues to maintain that the Fire Service must provide a full breakdown of the back pay paid.

The Authority meeting concluded with both the Fire Service and the Union, on behalf of the members concerned, being directed to make final written submissions in the next three weeks.

The Authority will issue its decision subsequently.

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