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.




Aug 24 2016

Newsletter to Members - 24 August 2016

Newsletter to Members - 24 August 2016

Staying Well – Promoting Psychological Wellbeing and Resilience

The following information, put out by the Fire service, is provided for you information. Greg Lee (National Committee member) has been involved with the CIPSS team to further develop this support service.

The Critical Incident and Personal Stress Support (CIPSS) programme is being rolled out across the New Zealand Fire Service and National Rural Fire Authority. CIPSS promotes a range of options to support the psychological wellbeing and resilience of all NZFS personnel. This support includes Region Safety Wellbeing Coordinators, Peer Support, the Injury Management Unit and referral to external providers.

CIPSS presentations have been provided at Region management team meetings, Region Volunteer Leadership Conferences and are now being rolled out to Officers and Firefighters.

Two of the resources developed to support the programme include the Staying Well Guide and Managing your Wellbeing brochure and are both available on FireNet - http://firenet.fire.org.nz/Critical-Incident-and-Personal-Stress-Support-(CIPSS)/Pages/default.aspx.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-24-August-2016 PDF icon

    NTM-24-August-2016.pdf | pdf | 206 KB | Last Changed: 24/08/2016 11:20am


Aug 16 2016

Newsletter to Members - 16 August 2016

Newsletter to Members - 16 August 2016

MAN Appliances

To recognise and address the serious concerns with the MAN appliances, the Union has appointed the President to work in conjunction with Locals, Members, and the National Fleet Manager, to resolve issues raised.

This is not a quick fix, and is a genuine attempt by both parties to fix long-standing problems.

Members are asked to continue to report any faults to both the Union President and the National Fleet Manager.

We look forward to a positive outcome for members.

Aug 09 2016

Newsletter to Members - 9 August 2016

Newsletter to Members - 9 August 2016

Fire and Emergency Bill – Transition

The Union (Peter Nicolle and Derek Best) have meet with the Minister (Peter Dunne) and D.I.A Officials; the Director of the Transition office (David Strong) and various Transition Office staff, the Chief Executive/National Commander and representatives of the U.F.B.A to discuss and obtain further information on both the Bill and Transition to FENZ.

It is fair to say that many of the issues receive, at this stage, a ‘trust us’ response as so much, less than 12 months before FENZ is intended to take over, is unknown. The Union very much hopes that this situation will not continue to much longer but we have our doubts.

The formal Submission on the Bill is to be submitted by 18 August. The Submission must remain confidential until received by the Committee (when it will be put out for member’s information). However the Key points made in the Submission will include.

  1. The Union is pleased to see the overarching thrust Of the Bill – merging of Urban and Rural; updating the mandate and addressing, at least in part some of the anomaly’s with the levy. However the Union has real concerns regarding the following.
  2. Where are the guarantees regarding continued employment and continuation of the Collective Agreement and other Conditions of Employment?
  3. The Bill is very vague on Operational Command and Control – there is nothing that details who or even if there will be an Operational Head of the Service. All power is given to the (civilian) Board and they can exercise it themselves or delegate to anyone.
  4. Gratuities are only continued for existing employees
  5. P.C.A is gone to be replaced by ‘Health Standards’. The provisions for challenging a Medical Disengagement are significantly weakened.
  6. A new role of ‘Inspector’ is established and is given very substantial powers but the Bill is very vague on who, what and how they will function.

All these are expanded on in the Submission and the Union will ask to be heard by the Select Committee.

For the Union and its Officials, the Bill and Transition to FENZ really is an enormous undertaking.

Trevor Tilyard

The Union is advised by the Dunedin Local of the sudden death of Trevor Tilyard.

Trevor had a long involvement with the Dunedin Local commencing in the late 70’s. Trevor was on the Local Executive for more than 20 years during which time he held the President’s position a number of times. Trevor was a staunch supporter when members Wages and Conditions were under attack during the 90’s. In 1998 Trevor was made an Honorary Life member of the Union.

The Union conveys its condolences to Trevor’s family and friends and continues to remember Trevor’s contribution to the maintenance of Firefighter jobs and working conditions.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-9-August-2016 PDF icon

    NTM-9-August-2016.pdf | pdf | 225 KB | Last Changed: 09/08/2016 4:02pm


Aug 05 2016

Newsletter to Members - 4 August 2016

Newsletter to Members - 4 August 2016

Fire Safety Officer Survey

The Fire Service are working on ensuring the continued sustainability with regards to the provision of specialist fire investigation skills and capabilities into the future.

Consequently they are acting to collect evidence to help and understand the issues around recruiting and retaining F.S.O.

The Fire Service have developed a survey to provide further information.

The Survey has been developed with consultation with the Union, however it is fair to say the Union does not believe it adequately explore all relevant issues.

However, it is a start, and is better than the vacuum there is at present.

Consequently, the Union urges all affected members to honestly and thoroughly complete the Survey. We will have full access to the outcome.

The Survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SLNC7QC

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-4-August PDF icon

    NTM-4-August.pdf | pdf | 198 KB | Last Changed: 05/08/2016 10:42am


Jul 27 2016

Newsletter to Members - 27 July 2016

Newsletter to Members - 27 July 2016

Superannuation

The following message from Denis Fitzmaurice is repeated for your information.

By 1 December 2016, all registered superannuation schemes such as FireSuper must have transferred to the new Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMC Act) regime. The current plan is that FireSuper will transition to the new regime towards the end of September.

Before the transition can occur, a number of changes will need to be made. Some of these, such as changes to FireSuper’s trust deed and other documentation, will be operational and behind the scenes.

More noticeable will be the establishment of a new trustee company in place of the current individual trustees. The current trustees will become director of the trustee company and their responsibilities will remain largely unchanged. The Commission and the Union will each continue to appoint three directors and those six directors will appoint an independent trustee, who will also be the licensed independent trustee, as required by the FMC Act.

Another change is that the scheme’s current investment statement will be replaced by a new product disclosure statement. The FMC Act sets out the information that must be included in the product disclosure statement and limits it to a maximum of 6,000 words or 12 pages.

The FMC Act shortens the timeframes within which FireSuper’s annual review information must be issued. From 2017 onwards, the annual report and financial statements will need to be completed by the end of July and benefit statements issued by the end of June.

While strengthen the governance and general protection for members, these changes will have no significant impact on members or their benefits.

Absence Management

The Fire Service is in the process of rolling out their Absence Management Policy. The Policy has taken a long time to develop and the absence rates now are far lower than they were when the Policy development commenced.

If anyone experiences any problems or concerns about the implementation of this Policy as it affects them – please immediately document what occurred and forward this to your Local Secretary.

The Union needs to know how, when, were and why problems or concern with the implementation of the Policy is occurring and we need to know ASAP.

If we don’t know, we can’t try to fix things.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-27-July-2016 PDF icon

    NTM-27-July-2016.pdf | pdf | 320 KB | Last Changed: 27/07/2016 11:40am


Jul 19 2016

Newsletter to Members - 19 July 2016

Newsletter to Members - 19 July 2016

IFE Payments

As previously advised the Union (Derek Best and the Union Lawyer Peter Cranney) met with the Fire Service in mediation on the matter of IFE Payments. The application lodged in the Employment Relations Authority has been referred to mediation.

In the course of the mediation, it was clear that the Fire Service were adamant that they would only pay the respective IFE Payments to those who have qualified by examination.

They were strongly opposed to paying the allowances to those who had obtained the qualification simply by cross-crediting Fire Service qualifications.

The argument essentially was that this was double dipping. The Fire Service already make a payment for those who obtain the S.O. qualification and to also receive the IFE payment for the same qualification is double dipping.

The Union does not see things as simple as this. There are additional requirements than simply being S.O. qualified in order to obtain an IFE qualification.

Given there was no agreement reached at the mediation the Parties are to continue discussion as to how the IFE allowance Payments will be made.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-july-19- PDF icon

    NTM-july-19-.pdf | pdf | 203 KB | Last Changed: 19/07/2016 3:22pm


Jul 04 2016

Newsletter to Members - 4 July 2016

Newsletter to Members - 4 July 2016

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill

A major work for the Union over the next few weeks will be a detailed consideration of this Bill and leading to the development of a submission from the Union to the Select Committee.

This is a complex and lengthy piece of legislation. The timeframe for submissions is not yet available – we will advise members when this is known.

The Union will need assistance of members in developing our submission. There is a real need for co-ordination of comment on the Bill.

Already with only a preliminary look there are a number of issues of significant concern with the Bill. The Union supports the underlying principles behind the change – the merging of existing services and legislation that recognises the expanding role of the Fire Service. However, as we have said – the detail is critical – how things will be done.

It is this detail that our submission to the Select Committee will inevitably be focused on. After reading the Bill, do not hesitate to forward to the Union any issues, concerns or comments you might have. All this will be considered as the Union develops its submission.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-4-July-2016 PDF icon

    NTM-4-July-2016.pdf | pdf | 41 KB | Last Changed: 04/07/2016 1:07pm


Jun 17 2016

Newsletter to Members - 17 June 2016

Newsletter to Members - 17 June 2016

2016 Market Rate Review – to take effect 1 July 2016

Clause 2.6.2.2 of the Collective agreement requires the Union and the Fire Service to review Market Data (provided by Hay Group) and discuss and agree the remuneration rates to apply from 1 July 2016. The following is the outcome.

  • An increase of 1.00% for Firefighters rates (with the exception of grand-parented rates in tables 7B and 7C).
  • An increase of 0.5% for Officers, plus the final 2.5% catch-up – gives a total of 3.00%.
  • Remuneration rates for Communicators (1%) and Shift Managers (3%)
  • Allowances in Part 1 and Part 5 increased by 2%

The updated TWW also include an increase in the overtime rates for

  • Firefighters to 1.33 times the hourly rate for the first 3 hours of all overtime worked on a week day, and before 12pm on a Saturday.
  • Officers to 1.3% times the hourly rate for the first 3 hours of all overtime worked on a week day, and before 12pm on a Saturday.
  • For existing overtime at 1.5 the hourly rate will continue for all overtime on a Public Holiday.

It is planned that the new pay rates will be made on the payday 6 July 2016.
For rates on various transition rates (Part 3 and Part 4) the following will apply.

  • All Part 3 rates will move to the new substantive step for their current grade.
  • All Part 4 F.S.O, Trainers and VSO’s will move to the new substantive rate for their current step.
  • All Part 4 S FSO and Trainers on transition Step 3 will move to the new substantive Step 3.
  • All Part 4 S FSO and Trainers on transition Steps 4 and 5 will move to the new transition steps 4 and 5. The Transition Step has been retained for Step 4 and 5 as the new substantive rates are more than 6% higher. The transition step provides a maximum 5 % increase (effects 8 staff).

The Fire Service will provide an explanation letter (along the lines of that provided 12 months ago) for all those moving off transition steps and those moving on transition steps.

Available for download are various new Pay Tables

The Market Rate from Hay Group showed an increase in the Grade 13 rate (the S.FF. benchmark) of 0.79%. The increase for the Grade 15 (S.O benchmark) was 0.46%.
These amounts after discussion, have been rounded up to 1% and 0.5% respectively.
The outcome will be considered disappointing – however with any Benchmarking or Relativity link there will be good years and bad years – swings and roundabouts.

The Market Data provided is what it is. A historical comparison demonstrates this. 

Senior Firefighter Station Officers Combined Average
6.2% 9.9% Plus 7% Transition Payment 8.9% excluding Transition Payment

For 2013 – 2016 

CPI March quarter Labour Cost Index Public Sector Private Sector
2.9% 6.6% 5.3% 7.1%

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-17-June-16 PDF icon

    NTM-17-June-16.pdf | pdf | 764 KB | Last Changed: 17/06/2016 1:43pm


Jun 07 2016

Newsletter to Members - 7 June 2016

Newsletter to Members - 7 June 2016

Research Survey – Dick Thornton-Grimes

Massey University student Dick Thornton-Grimes has approached the NZPFU providing information on some independent and anonymous research survey he is conducting for those stations that have an appliance equipped with an Impact Pro gas detector as part of his degree studies. 

This is not our survey however we do support it and would encourage members to be involved.

Members can expect Dick to email them during week commencing the 13 June 2016 with an external email with a survey doclink from the email account dtg.masseyuni@gmail.com. If you have queries please contact Dick directly on dtg.masseyuni@gmail.com.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-Dick-Thornton-Grimes PDF icon

    NTM-Dick-Thornton-Grimes.pdf | pdf | 245 KB | Last Changed: 07/06/2016 1:32pm


May 06 2016

Newsletter to Members - 5 May 2016

Newsletter to Members - 5 May 2016

Review

Further to the information in the last Newsletter.

Both Paul Swain (Chair of the Commission) and Paul Baxter (CE/NC) attended the Union Committee meeting this week to discuss further the Review.

Arising from the discussion, the Union was asked to provide to the Commission key issues that must be address.

Given that almost all the detail is still to be specifically considered and addressed, the Unions key issues relate to the need to develop a detailed road map for progress to include time lines and structure for consultation.

Key personnel need to be appointed and the appropriate working parties established with clear terms of reference and time lines.

The Union were given assurances that we would be properly involved in the development of the Transition.

IFE

Further to previous updates the Union has been advised that the Employment Relations Authority has set down 20th June to hear this matter.

Union Compensation Scheme

For some time the Union has been aware that on renewal of the Scheme (as at April 2016) Premiums must increase.

A simple look at 2014 and 2015 results shows that for both years just under $200,000 was collected in Premiums.

Payments for claims in 2014 was $300,000 and in 2015, $400,000.

After going to tender and considerable negotiation the present Insurer (Sovereign) provided the best prices. The quotes were based on the current benefit structure (including total and permanent disability) of $18.97 (an increase of $8.33 per fortnight).

For death benefit only - $14.96 (an increase of $4.32 per fortnight).

In considering the two options, as well as the magnitude of the increase, the Committee were aware that almost all of the claims over the past few years have been death claims.

Consequently the Committee determined to accept the quote for the death cover only. The consequent increase in Premiums will occur in 6 months’ time – 1 September. The increase will be to $14.96 per fortnight.

Wellington Office Manager

Members are advised that Wendy Devenport has been employed as Pam Boyd’s replacement in the Wellington office.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-5-5-16 PDF icon

    NTM-5-5-16.pdf | pdf | 218 KB | Last Changed: 06/05/2016 1:34am


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