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Firefighters and union to resume negotiations amid strike

The striking firefighters and Fire and Emergency NZ are working to revive collective bargaining as part of the ongoing industrial action.

Firefighters across the country, led by the NZ Professional Firefighters’ Union (NZPFU), have refused to carry out certain administrative tasks since June 12.

“Constructive re-engagement” processes are now underway, the NZPFU and Fire and Emergency said in a joint statement.

“A mutually agreed third party will be engaged to support and assist this re-engagement.”

The union, which represents nearly 2,000 members, has been negotiating with fire and emergency services for more than a year – a process described as deadlocked.

READ MORE: Pro firefighters union weeks away from leaving work

The strike came after 96% of union members rejected the latest wage offer.

The offer meant that just over half of union members would only receive a guaranteed pay rise of 1.5-2%, their first since July 2020.

Low wages, frequent overtime, poor quality equipment and lack of proper training also contributed to the strike, the union said.

New Zealand’s minister responsible for fires and emergencies, Jan Tinetti, said the 2017 merger that created the entity played “a big part” in the standoff between it and the NZPFU.

The joint statement said that although the strike is ongoing, “it will not impact the ability of our career firefighters to respond to emergency incidents.”

The two organizations said they would not provide further comment on the negotiation process, but “further updates will be provided in due course.”