Agreement for professional firefighters must not affect funding for volunteers - union

5:53 pm on 22 October 2022
A fire engine at central Auckland fire station.

Volunteer firefighters made up 85 percent of New Zealand's fire services. Photo: RNZ / Rayssa Almeida

The United Fire Brigades Association is reminding New Zealanders that 85 percent of the country's frontline firefighters will remain on deck during November's strike action.

On Thursday, the Firefighters' Union announced strike action ahead of its latest negotiations with Fire and Emergency.

The association's chair, Peter Dunne, said volunteer firefighters made up 85 percent of New Zealand's fire services.

They do not go on strike, which meant most of New Zealand would continue to have firefighters working during the planned industrial action, he said.

Dunne said while it respected what the union was doing for its members, volunteer firefighters would still be responding to emergencies.

"Eighty-five percent of our brigades are volunteer firefighters, they will not be affected by the industrial action which means the communities they serve will not be affected."

Yesterday, a mediator publicly released his recommendations for settling the collective agreement negotiations between Fire and Emergency and the Firefighters' Union Union.

Dunne said they were keen to see the dispute settled, but funding was a concern.

"We're extremely concerned that the situation occurs where volunteer firefighters lose out because of the settlement with employed staff and we think that would bad not only for the volunteers, but for the 93 percent of the New Zealand territory that they cover."

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