Membership advocacy update

  Posted on 23rd August 2019 by Nick Cottrell in UFBA blog, UFBA News

In response to recent public commentary by some regarding rank and role, we want to assure our members that the United Fire Brigades’ Association (UFBA), Forest and Rural Fire Association NZ (FRFANZ) and Rural Professional Association (RPA), collectively part of the Partner Agencies that support the reform, are working in partnership with FENZ to advocate on your behalf. We will continue to do so when FENZ decides to move into its formal consultation process with personnel on proposed changes to rank, role, position, visual identifiers, tranche 2, 2b and 3.

When this consultation comes out, we all need to be prepared to have our say to ensure Fire and Emergency service provision across all parts of New Zealand remains stable, effective and representative of our local communities.

Until otherwise agreed, the Interim Command and Control Policy stands.  A policy that was co-designed by all workforce Associations and the Union which was implemented on day one of Fire and Emergency NZ – it has, for the most part, been working effectively in communities since it was implemented on 1 July 2017. 

The Interim Command and Control Policy recognised that as we transition the way we operate (from what was 40 organisations prior to 1 July 2017), to one organisation in Fire and Emergency, not everything is as we desired or needed it yet to be.  With sensible discussion, robust debate and respect for all workforce, a Policy was established.   Fire and Emergency NZ agreed that this policy would stay in-place until there had been sufficient discussion to arrive at any new Policy for the organisation and any changes to the Policy would need to be consulted with personnel.

All Partner-agencies are on the FENZ Unified Service Delivery Group working proactively to inform draft Rank and Role proposals ahead of formal workforce consultation at an appropriate time. Until then, no change.

Partner Agencies have worked collectively and cohesively for the past three years to provide a strong and influential voice on behalf of the entire FENZ workforce.  This approach has been useful to strategically guide the establishment of Fire and Emergency NZ, and on subsequent matters of importance to the workforce. 

We support the approach FENZ is taking on respect and inclusion (and signalled by the new values) and do not support divisive comments with inferences that undermine the exceptional contributions that could be made by other capable leaders.  Our current diverse workforce shows that good leadership can be found from all walks of life, with broad skill sets and experiences, and herein lies unexplored opportunities to support the emerging culture.

The UFBA, FRFANZ and RPA stand for robust discussion to arrive at sensible decisions and outcomes for its members and for all New Zealand communities.

We believe in Fire and Emergency NZ and remain committed to the direction they are taking, as given we have all played a part in shaping it over the past 4 years.  We also continue to support Fire and Emergency NZ CEO Rhys Jones in leading Fire and Emergency New Zealand to become the organisation that New Zealanders deserve.

We will continue to advocate on your behalf, communicate with Fire and Emergency NZ, and to monitor the situation.

Ngā mihi maioha

Bill Butzbach,

UFBA CEO

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