The answers are very simple and quite transparent:
Instruction from the Government
Although the Fire Service is not part of the Public Service and does not receive tax-payer funding, the instruction to give employees little or nothing as a pay increase this year applies as much to the Fire Service as it does to the Public Sector proper.
And, the government lackeys running the Fire Service are only too happy to carry out the instruction.
What also needs to be recognized is the explicit government advice – from the Prime Minister – that Public Servants (presumably still including Firefighters) should not expect big pay raises in line with the rest of the workforce. So this government if re-elected, has made its position clear – no (big) pay increases for you.
Over $8 million spent on U.S.A.R. Responses
This has been commented on in previous Newsletters. The $8 million unbudgeted and unfunded cost of the USAR response to both the Christchurch Earthquake and the Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami obviously impacts on the Fire Service’s ability to pay.
As previously noted, it is extraordinary that despite it being common ground that this $8 million cost was unbudgeted and unfunded, the Fire Service Commission has not even asked for funding to meet this cost.
In the end, it appears that Firefighters and their families are the ones who are having to effectively meet a large part of the cost of the Fire Service’s involvement in USAR.
If you believe you deserve a fair pay increase for yourself and your family then:
- There must be a change in government or government policies and/or
- The Fire Service must be seen as outside the Public Sector and not subject to government instruction and/or
- The Fire Service funding model must be changed to provide funding directly related to all aspects of the Fire Service operations and/or
- The Fire Service must move out of USAR involvement.
Gifting Leave to Christchurch Members
A reminder if you gift leave, please remember to advise the Union (firstname.lastname@example.org) when you do so.