Fire And Emergency Focused On Reaching Agreement Despite More Strike Action
National Commander Russell Wood says Fire and Emergency remains focused on finding a resolution with the New Zealand Professional Firefighters’ Union despite the union issuing notices for further strike action.
‘This afternoon the NZPFU has given us notice they intend to stage full strikes between 11am and 12pm on Friday 4 November, Monday 7 November, Friday 11 November and Monday 14 November,’ Russell Wood says.
‘This is after receiving final recommendations for settlement last week from mediator/facilitator Graeme Colgan.
‘I had hoped the firefighters’ union would focus on a return to the negotiating table on 27 October, to discuss the recommendations and work towards resolution instead of announcing further strike action.
‘Both parties now have an opportunity to demonstrate their willingness to work constructively towards achieving a fair and reasonable settlement based on the recommendations from the mediator/facilitator.
‘But, as we have done before, Fire and Emergency will answer all 111 for fire calls and continue to respond to fire emergencies during the periods of the strike.
‘I want to reassure people this strike action will not affect most of the country which is served by our volunteer crews who will respond as normal.
‘However, we do ask the public in urban areas, primarily served by career firefighters, to remain extra vigilant during these strikes next month.
‘There will be significantly fewer firefighters than usual in the strike areas and fewer 111 communication centre dispatchers, so our responses will be delayed.
‘Volunteers in urban areas will respond from their own stations in their own trucks as they do regularly when there are multiple emergencies at one time.
‘This has potential to put New Zealanders at risk and I urge the firefighters’ union to reconsider this action, when we are both considering a comprehensive and complex set of recommendations and have an opportunity to make positive progress next week,' Russell Wood says.