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.




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.

Aug 25 2014

Preventing Firefighter Cancer

Preventing Firefighter Cancer

The Silent Threat - Preventing Firefighter Cancer

The Fire Service has set up a comprehensive programme of work to focus on reducing firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens and other harmful substances in the workplace. The programme is a joint initiative involving the NZPFU and the UFBA.

 

Aug 22 2014

NTM 10/2014

NTM 10/2014

Christchurch Bravery Awards

On Thursday 14th August Derek Best and I had the privilege of attending the reception held in for the Recipients of the Bravery Awards.

It was an honour to be there to share this time with the Firefighters and their Families.

The Union congratulates all those who received the medals.  They exemplify the role of all Firefighters in New Zealand, who continue to strive to achieve results, under extreme and adverse conditions.

We also extend our thanks to the New Zealand Fire Service for providing the reception in honour of this group.

Thank you for the invitation.  This was a function we were delighted to attend.

Peter Nicolle
President NZPFU

Matters being discussed with Fire Service

As well as the usual ongoing matters, the following particular issues are of interest and significance.

  • Payment problems subsequent to the 1 July increase:
    These particularly related to the grand-fathered group and even more particularly, Q.F.F.  For the most part, these have been resolved satisfactorily.

  • Problems with P.P.E. – B.A, Helmets, Wet Weather Gear:
    There is no quick fix. Clearly the roll-outs were inadequate and faulty.  The lesson (once again) is that any roll-out of anything must be much better done.

  • Relieving – and associated issues:
    The introduction of the new relievers is still some way away and it is likely that there will be a trial/pilot exercise before any wider introduction occurs.
    A particular issue raised is the interim over-staffing that occurs and how that is dealt with.
    The Union’s position on a 5th person on an appliance with regard to P.P.E. is very clear – all members riding on an appliance must be fully provided with P.P.E.

  • Medical Responses and particularly Training:
    The Fire Service has accepted that there has been a very significant workload in a number of localities (e.g. Auckland) and the Union is pressing for answers.

  • Exposures Project (Cancer):
    Work is progressing and the awareness video has been distributed.

  • Vision 2020 Meetings:
    The information from these meetings is presently being assembled.

  • Job Sizing:
    Examples are being monitored.

  • Health & Safety:
    This includes Accident Investigations and the forthcoming changes to the Health & Safety legislation.

SMS - Home Address 

As part of the project to improve/update information to enable contact in the case of an emergency, SMS is now being used to implement/update home addresses.

As with the emergency contact/next of kin information, the implementation/update will be the responsibility of the individual on a voluntary basis – however, the Union does encourage members to provide accurate information asap.

National Risk Resource Model 

Joint message from NRFA, NZFS, NZPFU and UFBA attached.

Documents: (Click to view)

    National-Risk-Resource-Model-20-August PDF icon

    National-Risk-Resource-Model-20-August.pdf | pdf | 152 KB | Last Changed: 22/08/2014 1:03pm


Jul 10 2014

Firefighters Scholarship 2014/2015

Firefighters Scholarship 2014/2015

Do you have a great idea for improving some aspect of the New Zealand Fire Service that aligns with current organisational strategy and Vision 2020? If so, check out the Firefighters’ Scholarship.

The Firefighters’ Scholarship provides an opportunity to research or study a topic or undertake a project relevant to any area of the Fire Service’s strategic plan. Eligible applicants include career firefighters and officers (up to / including Senior Station Officers) and Comcen Communicators, Senior Communicators and Shift Managers who have a minimum of five years’ service.

The Firefighters Scholarship offers a unique professional and personal development opportunity to staff that will also be of significant benefit to the Fire Service and assist the Commission in achieving the Vision 2020: ‘Leading integrated fire and emergency services for a safer New Zealand – Te Manatū o ngā ratonga ohotata kia haumaru ake ai a Aotearoa.’

Documents: (Click to view)

    2014-15-Scholarship-promotion-Associated-agencies PDF icon

    2014-15-Scholarship-promotion-Associated-agencies.pdf | pdf | 138 KB | Last Changed: 10/07/2014 6:56pm


Jul 08 2014

NTM 9/2014

NTM 9/2014

Over-payments

The Union has been advised that a small number of members (19), have apparently been over-paid - some for up to around 6 -7 months. These are persons who were in the groups that were intended to be grand-fathered as a consequence of the pay changes last year.

The Union is working through the issue with the Fire Service and those persons concerned will be notified directly. As well, it is intended that meetings will be offered to the affected members to discuss the issue with management and Union officials.

Pay Review - Black Watch and Com. Centres

Job Descriptions have been completed for Com. Centre staff and for Fire Safety.
Work is continuing to finalize Job Descriptions for Trainers and V.S.O.s

Wet Weather Gear

The Union is aware of the problems with the distribution of Wet Weather Gear and has ensured that Senior Managers are also aware and are addressing the issues. Given the well documented problems with new equipment recently (e.g. B.A.), it is very disappointing to see numerous problems with the distribution of this wet weather gear, but the urgency at this time is to get the problem fixed.

Trial of New Equipment

For some time the Union has been concerned at the unstructured, haphazard nature of many of the so-called trials that have occurred. Trials ought to be important and provide verifiable and useful results.

Management has accepted that things need to be improved and the Union expects to see more formal protocols and structures around trials in the future.

Carcinogenic Exposure Project

A deal of background/backroom progress has been made and an informative D.V.D. is about to be released. The various stream groups have also commenced work.

It is expected that a Business Case for a longer term extended project will be completed shortly.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-No-9-8-July-2014 PDF icon

    NTM-No-9-8-July-2014.pdf | pdf | 40 KB | Last Changed: 08/07/2014 10:18pm


news + links