An incident occurred between Yellow Watch staff and the Waitemata Volunteers (November 2005), during which the Yellow Watch crew were exposed to intimidation, harassment and a Professional Firefighter was
threatened with physical violence by a group of Waitemata Volunteers.
This incident was investigated by Fire Service Management, the outcome being Regional Manager Turek put in place a “separation order” to keep the Yellow Watch crew and the Waitemata Volunteers apart and stopped the volunteers sleeping on the station.
Since then there is further evidence of intimidation and harassment occurring to our members at Waitemata. Recently, two Yellow Watch staff have been transferred out of the station on compassionate grounds (in relation to stress they have encountered in the working environment) on a recommendation of a medical practitioner.
This level of harassment and intimidation of our members by Waitemata Volunteers is despicable, unacceptable and unlawful.
Jeff McCulloch (Northern Branch) has acted as the Union point person, which has involved mediation between both parties.
At present Regional Manager Butt is allowing the volunteers to return to the station after it has been vacated by Yellow Watch staff, under the pretence that the volunteers can rest and relax but not sleep on station.
We now have serious concerns that this environment and attitude of Management to totally support and justify any action of volunteers at Waitemata, is to the detriment of Professional Firefighters’ employment. These concerns have been raised with the Local by members undertaking overtime shifts at Waitemata over the past weeks.
Members are requested to take no action regarding Waitemata until further direction from the Auckland Local is circulated. Presently we are waiting for a recommendation from the Northern Branch on what action we should undertake.
As the Auckland Local Committee is meeting early next week to resolve our position regarding Waitemata, if members have any specific concerns that they feel may be relevant, please contact me direct.