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FBU Ring Of Fire Tour - Portsmouth PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rob Stone   
Friday, 12 September 2014 17:47

The FBU have organised a national tour with guest speakers, and it is coming to a city near you!! (Portsmouth, to be precise!)

Please come and support this event, remember, that is the new Fire Ministers constituency!

Date and Venue....Tuesday 30 September – Portsmouth – Guildhall, Portsmouth, PO1 2AB

More details to follow.......

Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 18:05
 
FBU Seeks further talks with Government PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rob Stone   
Thursday, 14 August 2014 17:13

Dear Members

 

Please find the latest letter from the FBU to Penny Mordaunt here

 

 

As firefighters in England and Wales are halfway through an eight day strike over pensions, the Fire Brigades Union has written again to Penny Mordaunt reminding the Westminster fire minister that firefighters want to resolve this dispute and made clear that a meeting with the minister is the union’s highest priority.

In the letter Andy Dark, FBU assistant general secretary, writes: “FBU negotiators are available to meet any time including prior to and whilst strike action is taking place. Like us, you will have a busy and full diary, however I am certain that other parties who you are scheduled to meet, will recognise the importance of prioritising the joint talks in the same way as those with whom we are due to meet.

“An early meeting will give the necessary assurance to our members, the public and Fire Authorities, that both sides are committed to seeking a conclusion which is satisfactory to both sides and an end to strikes.

“We have been clear to all members, officials and external organisations, that a meeting with the relevant minister is a higher priority than all other appointments and business.”

The union is currently waiting for a response from the minister.

Firefighters in England and Wales are striking for three hours out of every 24 between 1200 – 1400 and 2259 – 2359 until Sunday 17 August in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 17:15
 
Firefighters call more strikes after government refuses compromise on pensions attacks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rob Stone   
Saturday, 26 April 2014 12:12

Firefighters call more strikes after government refuses compromise on pensions attacks

11403484704_a1a07a7ef6_oFirefighters in England, Scotland and Wales will take part in further industrial action over pensions, the Fire Brigades Union has announced.

English and Welsh firefighters will strike on:

  • Friday 2 May, between noon and 5pm
  • Saturday 3 May, between 2pm and 2am
  • Sunday 4 May, between 10am and 3pm.

There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime across England and Wales from 3pm on Sunday 4 May until noon on Friday 9 May.

In Scotland there will be a ban on voluntary overtime between noon on Friday 2 May and noon on Friday 9 May.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “After three years of negotiations and an intense four months presenting an indisputable, evidence-based case for the need to ensure a pension scheme that takes into account the unique occupation of firefighting, the government is still burying its head in the sand.

“Several members of government were only too keen to praise firefighters during the winter floods, but their words amount to nothing when they simultaneously ignore issues that threaten the future of firefighters and their families.

“Nevertheless, we remain totally committed to resolving the dispute through negotiation, and are ready to meet to consider a workable proposal as soon as possible.”

Negotiations between the FBU and the Department for Communities and Local Government — as well as the devolved governments — have been taking place for three years, and since the last strike on 3 January 2014, both the union and government have undertaken work examining financial, technical and legal issues.

Following the last meeting of the union’s executive council on 9 and 10 April, the union wrote to the minister saying that if they hadn’t received any proposals by 24 April, they would conclude that the government was unwilling or unable to offer any improvement.

In a letter dated 23 April, the Westminster fire minister, Brandon Lewis, commended the way in which the union had engaged with government on several fronts, but did not present any new proposals.

As a result, at a meeting on Thursday 24 April the union’s executive council unanimously decided to take further industrial action.

At a recent meeting Treasury officials confirmed that that there is no central government obstacle to new proposals from the DCLG.

Over recent weeks the FBU has met with ACAS, the organisation devoted to preventing and resolving employment disputes, where union officials outlined their concerns and frustration with the lack of any progress.

Although during negotiations the Westminster fire minister assured firefighters that he would seek to address the threat of firefighters being sacked merely for getting older, there has been no change in the government’s position.

Recently, the FBU was forced to correct the minister’s claims in the House of Commons that the union had never sought to protect its members from pension changes.

While negotiations were continuing, the government imposed a third annual increase in firefighters’ pension contributions, taking them to 14.2% for most firefighters, one of the highest in the public or private sector, and issued proposals for a fourth year increase for many.

In August last year, firefighters voted by 78% for strike action

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 April 2014 12:13
 
Public Consultation on New Fire Service Pension Scheme PDF Print E-mail
Written by Webmaster   
Thursday, 29 May 2014 20:24

Public Consultation on New Fire Service Pension Scheme

Despite no progress in negotiations over the government’s proposals on firefighters’ pensions, the Westminster fire minister, Brandon Lewis, has said that he will start a formal public consultation on the government’s pension changes.

You can find the consultation Here

At present it is not clear exactly what the public will be consulted on and whether all the relevant information will be released.

It’s vital that MPs, fire and rescue authorities, ministers in other parts of the UK, the public and firefighters themselves are fully informed in order to provide genuine feedback.

We know that the government has explored other options and worked out how much they would cost.

Unfortunately none of this information has been made available to the public or to ministers in Wales or Scotland.

How can any such consultation therefore be genuine?

To help ensure the information is released, the FBU has produced a campaign tool enabling firefighters and their supporters to write to their MP.

You can find the tool here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014 20:45
 
RDS Drillnight Changes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Webmaster   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 08:00

Dear Members,


We are surprised and disappointed at the lack of notice by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service regarding the required formal written notification of the drill night changes as per employment contractual agreement and the methods utilised by some HFRS GM’s/SM’s to inform/discuss with staff the implementation of these drill night changes over the past months.


The FBU have been informed by members of some stations where the approach used was blunt, dismissive and “if you don’t like it, leave” . This is not what the FBU would expect of a professional fire service which portrays an image of a caring employer who purports to be family friendly and that invests in people.


The FBU is aware that formal notification letters, although dated the 17th of March (2 weeks prior to the implementation of the changes) in many circumstance were not even posted until the 24th of March as per post mark, (1 week prior to the implementation of the changes) and many members are yet to receive them, now several days after the implementation of the changes.  The FBU feel this is totally unacceptable and will support any grievances raised.


The FBU would like to be totally clear and transparent about the following statement within the letter dated the 17th of March sent from HFRS to employees;


“The proposal has been presented for consultation to the FBU and the RFU and was agreed and signed off”.


Members should know that the FBU did agree with the implementation of the “centrally based training plan” based on the New Forest model including all elements that HFRS said were essential to make this work including:


·         Weekly appliance checks (paid) outside of drill night.

·         Repeatability of training within groups to allow individuals who miss a session to attend identical training at a local station.

·         Realignment of drill nights to allow even spread of training resources and to allow the planner to work (i.e. no risk of an instructor not attending when expected now).

·         Abolishment of make up drills for missed safety critical training.

·         Utilisation of on line learning (Moodle).

·         Removal of non-essential activates from drill night (SMV’s etc.).


However throughout the consultation process the FBU raised concerns about the changing of drill nights and its effects upon members and also the manner in which this was be handled with the view to RDS members who have arranged their lives around drill night on a specific night, of which has been the same for many years.


We are aware of some RDS members, who as a direct result of this change and the impact it would have had on their or their families primary employment, have left the fire service and this impact can already beclearly seen by appliances off the run when they would normally be available.  The FBU continues to investigate the legal standing of these changes, specifically relating to the manner in which they have been managed.


It is important to understand that the FBU were advised that the underpinning of this centralised tracker was the safety of our Fire Fighters and without including all these changes within the limitation of the 3 hours training per week, the plan wouldn’t work and the goal of improving Fire Fighter safety would not be achieved.


Below is the FBU quote that was formulated and given to the service for inclusion in the edition of  “Extra – March 2014”


‘The FBU has been involved in the RDS Sustainability Project from its inception and have been conscious of the need to try and maintain the ‘sustainability’ aspect of the project while supporting HFRS’s desires to improve upon an already good RDS service. As such the FBU had concerns regarding the introduction of drill night changes because of the impact it would have on some members and the way this change was managed. However the FBU is positive about the centrally managed planner which we have been assured will be out to stations by the beginning of March, as a way of more efficiently maintaining resources while reducing the administrative burden upon local station managers and aiming to support high standards of training across the Service. The ability to provide greater flexibility to RDS members who miss safety critical training due to other commitments, within a timely manner at local stations is something the FBU is keen to promote. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions for any aspects of the project then please contact either Bryan Stanislas (FBU Chair – RDS) or I, we are keen to raise questions before they become issues.’


Should members have any issues regarding this topic we urge you to contact your station FBU Rep in the first instance, FBU RDS Hants Chair Bryan Stanislas, FBU RDS Hants Sec Bryce Allcorn, FBU Hants Chair Nigel McCullen or FBU Hants Sec. Gary Jackson.


In Solidarity


Bryan Stanislas - HFBU RDS Chair / Bryce Allcorn - HFBU RDS Secretary


Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:27
 
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