20th July 2017 – Roy Breeze

I spent the day and evening with the new CE Rhys Jones as he did a region 2 tour.  Among many other things, he talked about putting autonomy out to the sectors. Giving the decision power to the right level.  He kept referring to us as Commanders. So I asked him about the Manager versus Commander title and he said I prefer to call you commanders because that is what you are.

He seems like a down to earth person so good start.

16th July – Roy Breeze

July Update

Last Friday the FRCA committee met in Christchurch.  The key discussions were:

Developing content for a presentation to the new CE Rhys Jones at our first stakeholders meeting scheduled for the 28th July.

Our focus will be, who we are and where we think we should be in the co design of the Target Operating Model (TOM) for FENZ.
Also the importance of making our roles more attractive, to attract the best new leaders into our rank/roles at this critical time in the organisations development and change.

We also discussed modernising our strategic plan to meet the FENZ environment.

Asked, should our name change again, to the Fire and Emergency Commanders Association (FECA)? Should we open membership up to our rural colleagues?

Plus, getting more input from all the FRCA members to lift our game and lower the workload on the Committee members.

And, organising the AGM content.

We spent an hour on VC with David Strong getting an overview of where we are and asked questions. Mainly focused around how the new CE may view the organisation given his defence foundations.

Also VC’d with HR re remuneration. The Geographic Commanders will get a 2.77% movement as this is based on our agreement to keep the same gap between the SSO and the AACs remuneration.

The non geographic positions will get varying amounts between 2.15 and 3.28%. The reason why there is a difference with the geographic roles is all positions in FENZ are aligned with the ‘Hayes model’ for determining salary. Our positions (FRCAs) such as geographic or training or concern etc are aligned to the different levels in the Hayes model. Each year HR check the general market movements in the public sector, for each (Haye’s) level, and this is the starting points for what we all get ‘at our different levels’.

The first payments on the new rates will be about the 17th of October along with the backpay.

It is exciting times, yes very busy and lots of unknowns but full of opportunities to shape the future.

Let us know what you would like to know.

15th July 2017 – Roy Breeze

Lifting our game:  A few committee members may be standing down as we near this years AGM, mainly due to the workload of being on the committee and there is not a pile of members ready to put their name forward.  This simply means the remaining committee members will have to do even more work and we have Areas to run also.

FRCA is now in a ‘very’ well respected position as a key stakeholder and we are about to go into the most important phase in our history, being the ‘co design’ phase of FENZ.  FRCA is the only key FENZ stakeholder that doesn’t have paid representatives, so we need support.

If we want to contribute and lead as a respected stakeholder we have to utilise the full power of all the members, not just a few committee members. A few months back we were buried in follow ups on contractual issues, advocacy requests and consultation meetings, including having to read many new policies. I asked for help via this group just to read some documents, and I got three replies …. out of over 50 of you.  So it would be very helpful if you ‘all’ did the following:

1. When we ask for support, such as for reps on projects or work streams or simply reading policies, …contribute some of your time and reply.

2. When we have the 2017 AGM in August, we will arrange a few locations to hold it. If your within a few hours drive …’be there’ in person, …otherwise VC in. How powerful will it be when senior FENZ leaders see full houses at each AGM location. They would perceive that we are very unified!

3. Use this Facebook group. e.g give feedback (comment) on these posts, put your own posts up. Ask questions or let everyone know what is happening in your patch related to FENZ or simply anything. Humour is great. This is our group, put whatever you think might be of interest to your colleagues. At least ‘like’ it so we know your reading it.

This group is a powerful medium for communication between us, but takes time to manage it, let us know the time is worth it.

4. If we send out a quick survey via email or post, asking for feedback on a specific subject, please reply ASAP. It is very powerful when we talk to the FENZ Board or Senior leaders to be able to tell them how we, the Commanders/leaders in FENZ, are perceiving something or can see what the risks are or offer better options.

If the FRCA membership support us with the above , we will go up another level, creating a very powerful group to voice our views and infleunce what happens to our roles and environment into the future.

A little effort, by many, will make the difference, so lets do it….be a contributing member. The time is right!

Right I’ve had my rant.. Im happy now

5th July 2017 – Roy Breeze

 I have listed a few advocacy updates below. We are developing a news letter but prefer to keep this type of info within the closed Facebook page.

Hasting AAC appointment challenged. FRCA took legal advice and supported a member to challenge the appointment process of the recent AAC appointment in Hasting. The Fire Service carried out a review and declared it was ok.  Basically we lost. Although there are other possible options left to challenge this appointment, it is unlikely we will provide further financial support.   The only positive out of this was that the NZFS (now FENZ) has the message that we will challenge appointments where they do not follow their own processes.   There is a contractual entry level criteria that AACs need to meet and we will need to keep the pressure on for them to follow it.

It is a challenge to attract people to the AAC positions especially when the NZPFU are advising their members not to apply, mainly in the Auckland Area. I understand none of the applications for the AAC vacancy in Wanganui meet the minimum operational standards so this puts the AC in a difficult position.

We all need to be encouraging qualified SSOs to apply for AAC positions. This will be a key point when we get our chance to present to the new CE that the A/AC positions need to be more attractive to attract the best future leaders

FENZ’s AAC contractual conditions. When these support (FENZ) AAC positions were being discussed in the planning phase, we asked that they all received the full bells and whistles of the AAC package. Car, phone, pay rate including the 10% after hours allowance, join FRCA (optional). We assumed (wrongly) that this included the AAC level super subsidy. The NZFS claimed this was a contractual issue and thus they had to be paid on their SSO contract and rate. We don’t agree but have no real grounds to fight it.

We did tidy up some of the car issues around the AACs being charged the 10% limited private use when they were sometimes provided marked ‘pool’ cars.

Comcen Operations managers. These guys had still not reached the 100% ‘position in range’ even after 10 years. The standard is 3 years were there is no performance development plan. Agreement was reached to have them there by end of next year. So we would have preferred by tomorrow but this is still substantial movement for them.

There are a few other support type advocacy issue going on. Des puts in a ‘lot’ of work on the advocacy issues and is always looking for a win win with the member and the manager or NZFS. Sometimes they are both members which makes it hard. Basically the questions are always, did they follow procedure?

Finally we will be planning the AGM for about August and not to much later we start preparing for negotiations again.
We have a committee meeting next week and our first stakeholder meeting with the new CE and Chair on the 25th July where we will present how awesome you commanders are .

I would like to add here that whilst Kerry Gregory was in the DNC position his support and response to our queries was excellent.

And that will do for tonight……

Please let us know via this page whats happening in your patch and ask questions?