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Firefighters win holiday battle

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The Employment Court has found in favour of the firefighters union. The Professional Firefighters Union has maintained since the new holidays legislation came into effect last year that firefighters were not being treated fairly.

NZPFU secretary Derek Best says firefighters have been working public holidays without getting a day off in lieu.

Mr Best says firefighters work anywhere between seven and 10 public holidays a year so it was a significant shortfall.

He says the court also rejected a claim from the Fire Service that public holidays do not begin until eight o’clock in the morning.

Mr Best says the Fire Service has to backdate accumulated holidays to when the legislation came into effect.

As the new act commenced from April 2004, he says many firefighters have eight to ten days off to take.

He says firefighters are extremely pleased with the decision despite it taking a lot of time and money.

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