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Firefighters union needs to come down from clouds

Lindsay Tisch National Internal Affairs Spokesperson

19 April 2001

Firefighters union needs to come down from the clouds

Paid fightfighters' latest rejection of an employment contract offer highlights just how out of touch they are with other workplace practices, National's Internal Affairs spokesperson Lindsay Tisch said today.

"Let's not lose sight of the fact that the Union has turned its nose up at a 6 to 9.5% pay increase. Paid firefighters need to look at other New Zealand employees' wage rounds, employment contracts and conditions.

"Paid firefighters tell us they haven't had a wage increase for years, but once again we are seeing them snub an opportunity to get much more in their pay packets. "The Union is adamant on keeping up their intimidation, yet excessive pay claims won't reduce incidence of fire or save property or lives.

"The Fire Services contract offer is very generous and, as chairwoman Margaret Bazley pointed out, is the maximum offer.

"What's more, any deal struck will only profit a select few - the 1,500 members of the Professional Firefighters Union. The 11,000 volunteer firefighters won't see a bean of the money.

"It's the New Zealand public that will pick up the bill for any pay increase. Home owners will end up paying more fire service levy on their insurance for what will amount to no actual improvements in the fire service," Lindsay Tisch said.


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