by Susanne Kemp
We’ve run a number of articles on this blog about the new Fire and Emergency service (FENZ) and the criticisms made of it by firefighters and their union. It’s good, therefore, to be able to report a victory.
The legislation to set up FENZ included several attacks on firefighters’ employment conditions. One of these was about removing the old Fire Service employment provision for providing gratuities.
Firefighters have now succeeded in getting the commission overseeing the creation of FENZ to agree that all career firefighters – those employed both before and after July 1, 2017 – will continue to be able to be paid the gratuities.
The next step around gratuities will be an attempt by the union to have the collective agreement with FENZ, when it is set up, include provisions for gratuities to be paid to all members.
The gratuities are paid upon retirement or death, providing the firefighter has completed ten years of service. At present, for firefighters who have completed between 10 and 35 years continuous service, an amount equal to 1/35th of six months pay for each year of service, or part thereof; after 35 years service, an amount equal to six months pay.*
Meanwhile the struggle against a number of other aspects of FENZ continues. . .
*Thanks to Jaron Phillips for providing the precise formula.
Below are pieces we’ve run on the NZ firefighters and their union: