We’d like to share the announcement from FENZ Chief Executive Rhys Jones about the extension to the date for consultation on a proposed organisational structure and approach to rank and role. UFBA and FRFANZ submitted robust submissions on early draft proposals, on things that we knew would not sit well with you. We are pleased that FENZ have taken the time to properly consider our submissions on behalf of all members before putting the proposals out for everyone to comment on. We are pleased to advise that the upcoming consultation will not directly affect personnel at station/brigade level eg. Senior Station Officers, Chief Fire Officers or Controllers. Regarding the ranks at brigade level – there’s assurances that these remain unchanged and we know how well these are managed on the ground by all brigades.
We take our role, and our combined stance with our partners FRFANZ and RPA, very seriously and want to ensure we represent our members views as we move into this consultation phase. However, we want our member Brigades (and their members) to have the freedom of voice to either provide your submission directly to FENZ (there will be a process from FENZ on how to go about doing this) or your feedback can inform the UFBA submission where you will be anonymous. By 25 September the UFBA will have a draft submission on its website and will continue to update it as we receive feedback from you all.
Change works best through positive, constructive discussion that embraces the values of respect and diversity that our shared culture is shifting towards. It’s possible to disagree in a respectful way, it’s how one does it that sets the tone for effective engagement. It is our strong and trusted relationship that has helped persuade FENZ to take the time to listen and modify the consultation documents first.
When this consultation is formally released you can know we’ll be there, scrutinising detail and this is where we’ll need you – our members – to air your views whether supportive or concerns.
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I am pleased to announce that we will begin consulting on the next stage of shaping our organisation on 18 September 2019.
As you are aware we initially planned to begin this process on 3 September. However, after receiving feedback from the unions and associations we moved the start of consultation back to give ourselves time to consider feedback on the draft consultation document we had shared with them.
We have now completed that process and have made some changes to the consultation document as a result.
We have also changed one aspect of how we will run the consultation. We will consult with members of the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union through that union, rather than directly. This is because NZPFU members have advised us in writing that they have given the union authority to act for them in matters such as consultation.
At this stage, it is important to remember that we will be consulting on proposals. No decisions have been made and they won’t be until all interested parties have had the opportunity to have their say. To protect life property and our unique environment, we need to draw on the skills and experience of all our people.
I’d also like to reiterate that regardless of whether we proceed with any proposal, individuals will only be put in charge of incidents that they are trained and competent to lead and that we are not proposing any changes to the rank structures up to and including Senior Station Officers, Chief Fire Officers and Controllers.
Consultation will run until 16 October 2019 after which we will consider feedback before making any decisions. It may be that we decide not to proceed with some or all of the proposals as they have been drafted, or that our proposals are amended as a result of the feedback.
Please look out for more detailed information closer to 18 September and take the opportunity to have your say.
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