New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union

Welcome



Welcome to the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union.

The NZPFU is a key partner with the Fire Service in delivering the Fire Service's strategic vision of reducing the incidence and consequence of fire and to provide a professional response to other emergencies.

NZPFU representatives are based on all career fire stations. There are also 19 Union Locals in the major metropolitan and principal centres where career firefighters are employed.




Apr 10 2015

Notice to Taupo Local Members

Notice to Taupo Local Members

Members will be aware of the recent rumours regarding watch transfers at Taupo Station. A number of issues have been raised with Central Lakes and Region 2 management regarding these watch changes, including:

  • The lack of proper consultation with staff or the Local.
  • The frequency of directed watch changes in Taupo (this is potentially the 3rd in 4 years).
  • The rationale behind watch changes.
  • The way management have leaked and ‘drip feed” the information on watch changes to staff over an extended period of time through inappropriate channels.

As a result of raising these issues Area Manager G Fuller has acknowledged the process has been carried out inappropriately. He has given the NZPFU an undertaking that any planned watch changes are on hold and proper consultation with staff will begin immediately.

Documents: (Click to view)

    Notice-to-Taupo-Local-Members-NB-15-33 PDF icon

    Notice-to-Taupo-Local-Members-NB-15-33.pdf | pdf | 204 KB | Last Changed: 10/04/2015 12:00pm


Mar 17 2015

BA

BA

The Fire Service has published the following National Notice and link to a more detailed briefing paper.

The Union reproduces it for your information.

Documents: (Click to view)

    National-Notice-013-2015-MP-hose-DSUs-harnesses-March-2015 PDF icon

    National-Notice-013-2015-MP-hose-DSUs-harnesses-March-2015.pdf | pdf | 281 KB | Last Changed: 17/03/2015 1:19pm


    Briefing-on-BA-changes-16-March-2015 PDF icon

    Briefing-on-BA-changes-16-March-2015.pdf | pdf | 118 KB | Last Changed: 17/03/2015 1:19pm


Dec 19 2014

NTM 15/2014

NTM 15/2014

2014 Conference - Stronger Together

The relationship between the N.Z.P.F.U. and the U.F.U. of Australia was further strengthened with a highly successful Combined Conference in Auckland in the first week of December.
Approximately 80 Delegates from throughout New Zealand and Australia met over 3 days to share knowledge and information and to continue to build on the foundation of the Global Alliance.

The discussions were broad with a range of issues canvassed and once again, it became apparent the significant similarities of the challenges Firefighters and their Unions face. It was also an opportunity to share experiences of successes, including the power of the political capital of Firefighters.

The Conference was opened by Paul Baxter – Chief Executive/National Commander. NZPFU President Peter Nicolle and UFU of Australia President Greg Northcott jointly chaired the Conference and the conducive nature of the meeting resulted in significant and beneficial information sharing.

Issues discussed included:

  • The development in P.P.C. and the necessity for the coordination of the whole ensemble;
  • Health Programmes, Medical Monitoring and Best Practice;
  • A detailed SWOT faced as Unions and for the membership;
  • The success of recent political campaigns (in Australia) and the best use of the political capital of Firefighters;
  • Firefighting and Climate Change;
  • The N.Z. Carcinogen Exposure Programme;
  • The development of presumptive legislation and the science that underpins it;
  • Reporting from N.Z. and Australian Branches on the key industrial and political issues;
  • The science and studies that support the necessity for at least 7 on the fireground;
  • Update on the Global Alliance including specific reports conveyed from the I.A.F.F., and information from the U.K. F.B.U about their pension dispute.

A separate Joint Safety & Health meeting was held and then reported back to the Joint Conference.
The key points for that meeting included further detailed discussions on the coordination of P.P.E. ensemble and the challenges ahead in having the appropriate protections in place for Firefighters suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition, the Union held a specific meeting where the administration of the Union was dealt with, and the following Remits were adopted:

Resolution UCF 11/2014
Change the wording of the Contract (Clause 5.6.7 – Entitlements, Processes & Authorizations when attending Fire Service Training Courses) to read:
“When attending Fire Service Training Courses or External Training Courses directly related to NZFS business i.e. Health & Safety Training courses run externally”.

Resolution UCF 13/2014
That the Union try to persuade the NZFS to reinstate the ability for members to pro-rata a PHR if a member wishes to not take this leave directly after their annual leave.

Resolution UCF 14/2014
That the NZPFU and NZFS renegotiate the “Hours of Duty” policy to include the provision of a “clean slate” with regards to the hours worked after a 24 hour break from duty.

Resolution UCF 15/2014
That there be a comprehensive medical insurance package for employees and/or families of the NZFS personnel.

Office Closure/Christmas/New Year

The Wellington Office will be closed from 23rd December 2014 to 12th January 2015.
During that time if anything urgent does arise – Committee Members will be available except Jim Ryburn (22nd December – 5th January), Ian Wright (after 6 January), Michael Balmer (20th – 28th December).

The Union wishes all a Safe and Happy Festive Season and looks forward to working with and for you in the New Year.

Dec 16 2014

Joint Notice: Impact of Christmas and New Year Statutory Holidays on Leave Cycles

Joint Notice: Impact of Christmas and New Year Statutory Holidays on Leave Cycles

Clause 2.7.1(c) of the current Collective Employment Agreement between the NZFS and the NZPFU describes how public holidays falling within periods of leave will be dealt with for rostered shift staff.

This clause states that

"If a public holiday falls or public holidays fall within the extended leave period (i.e. the 14 days)  the leave will be extended by the number of public holidays in the same manner as applies to sickness, namely an additional leave day is added to the first duty day shift immediately following the extended leave period."

In most circumstances, the application of this clause is straightforward.  However, where statutory holidays fall during and immediately following the end of a leave cycle, this clause must be read in conjunction with the Holidays Act, which  is clear that leave cannot be taken on a statutory holiday.  This is relevant to the upcoming Christmas and New Year period, for those employees in Leave Group 7.

Two statutory holidays fall during Green Watch Leave Group 7's period of leave, being 25 and 26 December.  Applying the Holidays Act and Clause 2.7.1 (c) of the Collective Employment Agreement they receive their additional days' leave on 3rd and 4th of January, and therefore return to work on the day shift on 1st of January.    This is because additional leave days cannot be taken on a statutory holiday. 

Three statutory holidays fall during Red Watch Leave Group 7's period of leave, being 25 and 26 December and the 1st of January.  Applying the Holidays Act and Clause 2.7.1 (c) of the Collective Employment Agreement, Red Watch Leave Group 7 would receive their additional leave days on their first day shift of 3rd,4th and 5th January, return to work for their last night shift on 6th January.

Four statutory holidays fall during Brown Watch Leave Group 7's period of leave, being 25 and 26 December and 1 and 2 January .Applying the Holidays Act and Clause 2.7.1 (c) of the Collective Employment Agreement, Brown Watch Leave Group 7 would receive four additional days leave for 25 and 26 December and 1 and 2 January, which are then taken on 5, 6, 7 and 8th January.  They therefore return to work for their second cycle of shifts on 13th January 2015. 

Four statutory holidays fall during Blue Watch Leave Group 7's period of leave, being 25 and 26 December and 1 and 2 January.  Applying the Holidays Act and Clause 2.7.1 (c) of the Collective Employment Agreement, Blue Watch Leave Group 7 would receive four additional days leave for 25 and 26 December and 1  and 2 January, which are then taken on  7,8,9 and 10th January.  They therefore return to work for their second cycle of shifts on 15th January 2015. 

Two statutory holiday falls during Green Watch Leave Group 8's period of leave, being 1 and 2 January.  Applying the Holidays Act and Clause 2.7.1(c) of the Collective Employment Agreement they receive their additional day's leave on 17th and 18th January, and therefore return to work on the night shift of 19 January.

It is recognised that both Green Watch Leave Group 7 and Red Watch Leave Group 7 may prefer to prorata the additional leave days they receive (i.e. move or accumulate with the approval of their manager), given that they are required to return to work in between leave days. 

Red and Green Watch Leave Group 7 workers must notify the rosters office by Thursday 17th December if they wish to pro-rata their additional annual leave days.  If no notification is received Green Watch Leave Group 7 workers will be required to return to work on 1 and 2 January before taking their  additional leave day on 3 and 4th January, and Red Watch Leave Group 7 workers will be required to return to work on 6th January.

Documents: (Click to view)

    Joint-Notice-Leave-During-Christmas-Holiday-Period-2014-2015 PDF icon

    Joint-Notice-Leave-During-Christmas-Holiday-Period-2014-2015.pdf | pdf | 66 KB | Last Changed: 16/12/2014 2:00pm


Nov 27 2014

NTM 14/2014: Breathing Apparatus

NTM 14/2014: Breathing Apparatus

Members should refer to the National Safety Notice 062/2014 issued on 16 October, and also refer to the Auckland Level 2 Investigation Report on 14 July 2014 regarding medium pressure hose kinking and air supply interruption.

A recent event in Christchurch highlighted this again though not through carrying anything on the shoulders.

Members should be aware that there is a risk in the wearing of the current B.A., which is life threatening.

The ease with which the air-line to the face-piece crimps/folds has been shown by four separate incidents.

New replacement hose has been fitted to all professional firefighters’ Sets. This hose is no long term fix as it is the same as the hose it replaces.

New hose has been ordered, but in the period between the proper new hose arriving and being fitted to all B.A. (a minimum of 8 weeks), firefighters and their officers need to be aware of the risk posed by the failure of these sets and make operational decisions accordingly.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-No-14-27-November-2014 PDF icon

    NTM-No-14-27-November-2014.pdf | pdf | 177 KB | Last Changed: 27/11/2014 1:02pm


Nov 20 2014

Career Board 2.0 Working Party

Career Board 2.0 Working Party

NZPFU Involved in Career Board Review

In 2011 NZFS rolled out its first Career Board Programme. A lot has happened since then. We listened to suggestions shared by those involved in the first Career Board, and used their ideas to strengthen our 2013 Career Board Programme for Executive Officers and Officers.

Today, the Career Board plays an important role identifying and developing NZFS’s future leaders as part of NZFS’s Vision 2020. We want to take the successes we’ve already achieved with the existing Career Board Programme and build on them. In the future NZFS needs an enhanced Career Board 2.0 Programme that...

Documents: (Click to view)

    Career-Board-2-0-comms-for-staff-V2 PDF icon

    Career-Board-2-0-comms-for-staff-V2.pdf | pdf | 66 KB | Last Changed: 20/11/2014 9:23am


Nov 07 2014

NTM: Summary Result of Survey - CA Ratification

NTM: Summary Result of Survey - CA Ratification

Available for download with this Newsletter is a Summary Result of the Survey carried out earlier in the year and relating to the C.A. Ratification which included the outcomes of a Job Sizing exercise.

The Union Committee is looking closely at the Survey responses in an effort to learn how things can be done better in the future.

However, the Committee does take some comfort that the efforts to get full information to members, the separate information meetings (including management), and the Union's Ratification meetings did appear to be widely appreciated - particularly given the complex and very significant issues involved.

Documents: (Click to view)

    Summary-Result-of-Survey PDF icon

    Summary-Result-of-Survey.pdf | pdf | 27 MB | Last Changed: 07/11/2014 9:12pm


Sep 05 2014

Notice to Taupo Local Members

Notice to Taupo Local Members

It has come to the attention of the Taupo Local that Kinloch Fire Brigade is now being used more often as backup for Taupo Station as either standby crew or as backup to Taupo crews when responding to an incident.

The Taupo Local’s concerns are that Kinloch has responded short crew, and this also can be without an Officer in Charge of the Kinloch appliance. I refer members to NZFS Policy on short crewing.

On arrival at Taupo Station when responded short crew, Kinloch are now expecting to either cross man the Taupo appliances or expecting the Taupo staff to man the Kinloch appliance with the Kinloch crew members.

This raises several Health and Safety concerns for the Taupo Local and to ensure our members’ wellness and wellbeing, the Local issues the following:

“No member of the Taupo Local of the NZPFU is to allow the cross manning by Kinloch Volunteers of any Taupo appliances, nor will any member of the Taupo Local be expected to cross man the Kinloch appliance when responded as cover for Taupo Station.”

Crews need to be aware that, at times, the Kinloch appliance will be responded to back up Taupo crews at incidents. If Kinloch has responded short crewed and/or without an Officer for their appliance, Taupo members of the NZPFU will need to ensure they are fully manned. If not, they need to consider making additional coverage arrangements when this occurs.

This notice will remain in effect until further notice.

Documents: (Click to view)

    14-32 PDF icon

    14-32.pdf | pdf | 28 KB | Last Changed: 05/09/2014 4:20pm


Sep 01 2014

NTM 11/2014

NTM 11/2014

BA SETS 

It has been over a year now since the roll out of the new Drager BA sets and while the Fire Service has admitted that this roll out did not go very well and  was inadequate,  the follow up issues arising out of the roll out seems to be just as inadequate.

The Union has been involved on the National B.A. Working Group and is struggling to gain any progress on the outstanding issues with these BA sets. The last meeting of this group was in January of this year and issues arising out of this meeting are still outstanding and unresolved. The Union has requested both by e-mail and by letter for further meetings, yet the Fire Service has failed to respond to these requests.

The new Fire Service  vision 20/20 was to supply firefighters with the very best equipment available to do the job that is required of them and  while we will not disagree that this equipment was the best available at the time, there is a number of issues with this equipment that does need urgent attention.

The motion sensors are still causing the biggest problem for our members, although a trial is taking place at the moment with the Bodyguard 1000 at a new setting.

With the failure of a number of sets with kinking hoses the Union has requested that all hoses on these sets are replaced as soon as the new hoses become available from Drager.

The communication set up on these sets only works in some areas which also needs to be addressed urgently. We have asked for all communication leads on those sets that are not compatible with the radios to be removed and replaced with blanks and this has not been done.

The Union is doing its best to help rectify these issues and many more, but there seems to be a reluctance from the Fire Service to communicate fully with the Union and a reluctance to meet.

Introduction of the Relieving Shift for QFF and Above

The Current Collective Agreement between the NZPFU and NZFS provides for the introduction of a new relieving shift.

In discussion with the Fire Service, it has been agreed that this will NOT simply occur “overnight” on a given date and will ONLY occur in full consultation with the National Committee.  Suitable arrangements will need to be made to ensure the effective and safe introduction of this shift.

Recruits who have been employed since September 2012 may be appointed to this new shift upon reaching QFF, or others may agree to move to this relieving shift under the terms of the collective, including additional payment for being on the shift.

No current staff recruited before September 2012 can be required to move onto the new relieving shift without agreement.  This includes current relieving staff employed prior to 2012. 

ALL staff moving to this shift when it is trialled (see below) and introduced later will be eligible for the additional payments provided for in the Collective Agreement.

Trial Prior to Implementation

The NZPFU and NZFS are currently in discussion about the practicality of potentially trialling the relieving shift in an Area or Region, rather than moving to a full National implementation. This will take some time to progress once agreed. This will allow the parties to monitor the practical benefits and assess the costs/benefits and potentially make any necessary reasonable modifications before proceeding to full implementation at a later date.

Any such trial will involve full consultation with local management and affected staff prior to commencement. 

Staffing above MSM and Establishment in the Interim

In some Regions/Areas there may be a number of additional staff over and above establishment as recruitment levels remain high enough to provide the future numbers downstream to successfully trial/implement the relieving shift.

It has been agreed at a National Level with NZPFU in terms of the Collective Agreement that where there are additional staff above Establishment, these will be accommodated and managed in such a way as to ensure the safety of themselves and others.  Any additional crewing will only occur where the additional crew member is fully aware of the nature of their role and appropriate steps are taken to ensure their safety, relative to that role.

news + links