The Green Party is welcoming today’s news that the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU) have voted to ratify the agreement reached with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).
“Firefighters put their health at risk to protect us, so it is crucial that we do everything we can to look after them,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for workplace relations and safety, Jan Logie.
“We know that the last 18 months of negotiations have been difficult. The Green Party is proud to have been there supporting our firefighters every step of the way.
“Our MPs visited fire stations all over the country where firefighters consistently raised the same concerns with us – dangerously long hours, unsafe equipment, not being listened to, and inadequate health support and training.
“We’re pleased with an outcome that means professional firefighters will receive a pay increase, plus some mental health support, cancer screening, and financial assistance for income protection.
“However, there’s still work to be done, particularly around safe staffing levels and equipment upgrades.
“A recent Public Service Commission review also showed that FENZ has fallen short in its attempts to improve workplace culture.
“FENZ needs to implement the recommendations of that review. The Government should also commission a further independent review of FENZ to ensure our fire service is meeting the needs of fire fighters and communities.
“It’s essential we do the right thing for those who give up so much to make sure we’re all safe,” says Jan Logie.