Firefighters win gratuities payment victory

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:

Firefighters blast new Fire and Emergency organisation legislation

Firefighters black entire unsafe fleet

Firefighters’ union blasts leadership structure of new Fire and Emergency service

Firefighter News: Fire Service still resisting IFE payments based on prior learning; the new Fire and Emergency Service

Firefighters call for solidarity with Auckland hospital workers

Fire Service undermining prior learning of firefighters

Christchurch firefighters angry that five years on not a single fire station rebuilt

Small win for firefighters

2.7% rise for the firefighters, 70% rise for their boss

Australian and New Zealand firefighters hold joint conference 

Firefighters giving a lead 

Auckland firefighters solidarity with wharfies 

Firefighters resist vindictive new attack by employers 


Vicious state-media assault on Victoria firefighters


Interview: British firefighter organiser Paul Embery on firefighter issues, the state of the working class and the Brexit vote

British firefighters union statement in light of Brexit vote

Interview with British firefighter union activist on pensions battle

British firefighters’ solidarity with Turkish firefighters