Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Disappointed at Firefighter Union's Decision to Strike

Fire Service Commission Disappointed by Firefighter Union's Decision to Strike

Outgoing Fire Service Commission Chairperson, Dame Margaret Bazley said she is disappointed firefighters have given notice of strike action that will ban a significant portion of their normal duties. This follows their pay claim of 8.93 percent over 18 months by the NZPFU.

She said the 2.5 percent pay offer made to the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU) is more than fair and appropriate in the current financial climate. The Fire Service is funded from the fire levy, which is public money, so the Fire Service has the same constraints as other public sector agencies on wage increases, she said.

"Today's claim for an 8.93 percent increase is completely unrealistic and is a significant increase over their previous claim in these negotiations which was for 2.9 percent, already above other state sector settlements.

The 2.5 percent offer made by NZFS is higher than any other recent public sector wage settlements. There is an additional increase offered in overtime rates and a one-off lump sum payment. "

Dame Margaret said firefighters pay had kept pace with the public sector over the past decade and there was nothing to support their claim for an 8.93 percent increase over 18 months which would put them well ahead of teachers and nurses, who received increases in the order of 2 to 2.75percent. Firefighter wages already compare favourably with these occupations.

Dame Margaret said the NZPFU had a long history of resisting any change to its collective employment agreement.

“They attempt to run the Fire Service in the interests of the union and not in the interests of the community.

“I am gravely concerned that once again the union has issued a strike notice that includes bans on training, equipment maintenance, home fire safety checks, community smoke alarm installations and data recording. They will, however, continue to respond to emergency calls."
“It puts the safety of the public and firefighters at risk,” she said

In 2009 they took the same type of strike action for five months. This resulted in a slow, real and persistent degradation of the Fire Service capability. It particularly affected the training and resourcing of its 8,000 strong volunteer workforce, she said.

"I have worked with many different unions over the past 40 years including the Public Service Association, teachers, nurses and others. Over time they all earned my respect. I have the highest regard for firefighters as individuals and this was reinforced during their response to the Christchurch earthquakes. However, I despair that the NZPFU will ever lift its sights above narrow self interest and play a constructive and responsible role in reaching a fair wage agreement that properly reflects the prevailing circumstances. Despite the Employment Court supporting the Fire Service by requiring mediated assistance for the bargaining, the NZPFU further demonstrated this attitude by today tabling a new pay claim that was significantly higher than they had previously asked for,” she said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>


Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>


Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>


"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>





InfoPages News Channels