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Fire: FBU in historic affiliation to Labour

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

Today, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has made a historic move as the first trade union to re-affiliate to the Labour Party more than a decade after it withdrew its support.

Union delegates voted for the FBU to support the Labour Party, reinvigorated after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader, at a special conference in Blackpool.

The FBU was one of the first trade unions to declare support for Corbyn’s leadership campaign. The union’s executive council voted to recommend re-affiliation after his landslide election victory in September. Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell co-founded the unions’ parliamentary group after the union disaffiliated from Labour in 2004 after a dispute over pay and conditions under the Blair government.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters recognise that the Labour party has changed for the better since the election of Jeremy Corbyn, who has given our members and supporters hope that we can shift the political debate in favour of working people. We have a Labour...

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Fire: Dismay as government confirm plans for PCC takeover of fire and rescue services

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has reacted with dismay at the inclusion in the chancellor’s published autumn statement of plans for legislation to be brought forward for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to run fire and rescue services.

The FBU has raised concerns throughout the year about such a move on the basis that it will put financial savings ahead of public safety. It will also put an end to the independence that firefighters consider vital in order to carry out their jobs. This includes the ability to engage with local communities and gain access to peoples’ homes. It is widely understood, including among senior police officers, that the roles of the two services are very different, and that the ability of the fire and rescue service to engage with local communities in new ways, over the past decade, has largely been due to public awareness of this difference.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The power to arrest, which is a core feature of the work of police...

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Fire: Video | Building the fight against austerity – Matt Wrack’s speech

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union


Fire: FBU wins fairer commutation campaign and continues other legal challenges – donate to our campaign fund here

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

Members will have followed the FBU fairer commutation campaign with interest.

The FBU has fought long and hard to ensure the retirement lump sum of thousands of firefighter were corrected following mistakes by Government Actuaries Department.

Early this year the Pensions Ombudsman decided to retrospectively apply the uplift for firefighters who retired from 1 December 2001 to 21 August 2006. The decision means that thousands of firefighters and even more police officers will receive the lump sum they were entitled to with additional interest payments.

The union is pursuing several another legal cases relating to firefighter pensions. One of these relates to a related issue around commutation payments, another involves those who joined the service between the ages of 18-20 and several relating to age discrimination. The FBU is also investing a considerable amount of money and resources providing training to local officials ensuring that they have the...

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Fire: Blog | Defend trade union rights

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

On 2 November I spoke at the TUC rally against the Trade Union Bill at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster. Here is my speech.

TUC lobby
2 November, 2015

Today is the anniversary of the deaths of four firefighters at a fire in Warwickshire in 2007. Four workers; four members of our union.

We investigated that incident – as part of fighting for justice, as part of fighting for compensation – and as part of trying to make the workplace safer.

That investigation was long and complex. It took years. In fact, the final report from the FBU has only just been published, after legal complications.

  • That is work that trade unionists do.
  • That is work that trade union local representatives do.
  • That is work done on trade union facility time – in the public sector.

And I challenge any MP or Cabinet Minister to say that is not vital work on behalf of workers and on behalf of our communities.

This Bill strikes at the heart of our union organisation.

It is about the right to strike, but it is about much more than that. It is an attack on...

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Fire: More than 100 West Midlands firefighters to demonstrate outside the fire service HQ

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

What: Lobby of the West Midlands Fire Authority

Where: West Midlands Fire Service HQ, Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW.

When: 10am, Monday 23 November 2015

Large numbers of West Midlands firefighters will hold a demonstration outside West Midlands Fire Service headquarters on Monday morning ahead of a possible trade dispute.

The firefighters are protesting against fire service plans to change working patterns, reduce rates of pay and remove existing leave arrangements.  West Midlands Fire Authority are holding a meeting on Monday to discuss the planned changes, the result of cuts to the service.  Firefighters will be joined by fire control operators who face the prospect of redundancy.

Steve Price-Hunt, Brigade Secretary for the FBU West Midlands, said “Enough is enough.  This Labour lead fire authority have the power to stop these attacks on firefighters’ conditions of employment, and they need to act now. We are facing the prospect of no proper shift pattern,  with...

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Fire: Gloucestershire firefighters slam disgraceful decision to remove full-time cover during ongoing consultation

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in Gloucestershire has slammed senior managers in the county’s fire and rescue service for “suspending” full-time fire cover at Cirencester fire station, despite a public consultation into the future of fire cover at this station being inconclusive.

Fire cover in Cirencester is the subject of an ongoing public consultation being run by Gloucestershire County Council, who recently announced plans to cut frontline fire cover in the county.  Full-time firefighters from Cirencester are being removed and Painswick fire station closed down. The council invited the public to comment on the plans through a consultation which began on 1 October and is due to close on 4 January 2016. Local campaigning firefighters say that, 999 response times will increase and public safety will be jeopardised.

Although consultation is incomplete, senior fire service managers announced they were “suspending” the duty system at Cirencester...

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Fire: Video | FBU national school

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

The focus of this year’s FBU national school, which took place at Wortley Hall near Sheffield earlier this month, was organising and campaigning for future challenges.

This annual event gives the opportunity for members to learn how to organise in the workplace and improve industrial relations within the fire and rescue service.

Speakers at this year’s school included the newly appointed shadow fire minister Liz McInnes MP, who took part in a question and answer session with members, and one of her predecessors in the role, former MP Chris Williamson.

Watch this video to see what national school is all about.

The post Video | FBU national school appeared first on Fire Brigades Union.



Fire: UK firefighters send solidarity to French comrades

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

The Fire Brigades Union has sent a message of solidarity to firefighters in France, following the horrific terrorist attacks last week in Paris. Seven coordinated terror attacks left 129 people dead and hundreds injured.

In the message Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, says firefighters in the UK watched “with great pride and admiration as French firefighters attended the scenes of these atrocities and took care of the dead and injured.

“Firefighters across the UK stand shoulder to shoulder with you in opposition to terrorism and in defence of the democratic rights of ordinary citizens to go about their lives in safety.”

Read the full message to French firefighters here.

 

 

 

The post UK firefighters send solidarity to French comrades appeared first on Fire Brigades Union.



Fire: Longest 999 fire response times for 20 years, government admits

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

As the Government today (19 November) announces the longest response times to fires in England in two decades, the FBU claims the ever lengthening time it takes for fire crews to arrive are a direct result of ‘life-threatening cuts’.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published their Fire Incidents Response Times document today, which collates figures from April 2014 to March 2015, and shows a marked increase in the amount of time it takes for firefighters to get to emergencies. It states that: “The average response times across all location types in 2014-15 increased compared to last year and five years ago, and were the longest response times recorded in the past 20 years.”

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which represents over 85% of all firefighters in the UK, have said government cuts to fire and rescue services have put the public in danger. Response times don’t only cover fires but terrorist incidents too and there are mounting concerns over slower response...

Continues, Read More...





Latest Fire Brigades Union Stories

FBU in historic affiliation to Labour
Dismay as government confirm plans for PCC takeover of fire and rescue services
Video | Building the fight against austerity – Matt Wrack’s speech
FBU wins fairer commutation campaign and continues other legal challenges – donate to our campaign fund here
Blog | Defend trade union rights

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