Firies' stoppages avoided, industrial action to continue

Photo: RNZ
Photo: RNZ
The firefighters union says its industrial action will continue next week, but stoppages have been avoided now negotiations are resuming.

New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU) Dunedin local president Anthony Mason said collective agreement negotiations with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) were on track to resume next week.

The limited strike firefighters were undertaking had been due to end today, but would roll over until an agreement was reached.

Industrial action would be the same, with the added condition that firefighters would not talk to mainstream media about their industrial action.

The return to the bargaining table showed that Fenz was feeling the impact of the industrial action, Mr Mason said.

The union’s social media campaign and efforts to bring political pressure to bear would continue.

An escalation of industrial action from July 15, including one hour stoppages once a week, had been on the table.

The notice had been set to go out tomorrow, but now talks were set to resume that step would be avoided for at least two weeks.

Mr Mason hoped that resuming the negotiations would mean a collective sigh of relief for both firefighters and the public.

Firefighters did not want to put anyone at risk, he said.

Hopefully the agreement to return to negotiations meant the stalemate had been broken, Mr Mason said.

NZPFU Dunedin local secretary Mark Leonard said the union was happy to be back around the negotiating table and he was optimistic about the adjudication process, which had been reached by mutual agreement.

Both parties would be prevented from talking to media about the industrial action from Monday, he said.

 oscar.francis@odt.co.nz

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