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Fire Service's Offer Overwhelmingly Rejected

MEDIA RELEASE 19 APRIL 2001


FIRE SERVICE COMMISSION’s OFFER OVERWHELMINGLY REJECTED


“Firefighters have overwhelmingly rejected the Fire Service Commission’s offer to settle a renewed Collective Agreement, by a 94% margin”, Derek Best, Secretary of the Firefighters Union announced.

“As well, a resolution that allows the Union to take industrial action up to and including a total withdrawal of labour has been endorsed by a 92% margin.”

“The result is unequivocal and gives a clear direction to, and endorsement of, the action of the Union leadership in recommending that the offer be rejected.”

“Members clearly saw that the offer did not fairly and reasonably address:

- The 11 year wage freeze firefighters have experienced;
- The very large productivity gains achieved;
- The significantly expanded role and necessary skills firefighters have undertaken over recent years.

As well, the Commission’s offer contained major clawbacks with the demand for a 48% increase in Routine Hours”, Derek Best said.

“Firefighters have been in the forefront of the expansion of the Fire Service’s role in Fire Safety/Education. However, the wage increase offered does not even recognize the loss of earning power of firefighters over the last 11 years. To expect an acceptance of a 48% increase in Routine Hours is quite unrealistic and unfair”.

“The Commission’s offer provided an average overall 8% increase in the wages bill for firefighters. This was distributed to provide increases for various ranks ranging between 6% and 9.5%.

The Union has sought an urgent meeting with the Fire Service Commission to discuss resuming discussions on how to make progress from here. Depending on the outcome of that meeting the Union’s National Committee will consider the appropriate options that can be taken.”

“The Union can say however, that at this stage there is no intention of firefighters refusing to respond to emergency incidents. The industrial action that is presently underway that relates to bans on non-operational overtime and the use of computers will however continue”, Derek Best concluded.

Derek Best can be contacted on (04) 568 4583

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