Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Fire: Firefighters step up anti-cuts campaign in Gloucestershire

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in Gloucestershire will be stepping up their campaign against cuts to the local fire and rescue service this weekend. Gloucestershire County Council are planning a series of cuts to the frontline fire service which local firefighters say are dangerous and will compromise public safety. Firefighters will be in Cirencester High Street this Saturday 21 November from 11.30am – 2pm, taking their message to the public, distributing leaflets and asking local people to sign a petition against the cuts.  The cuts, which are out for public consultation, include the closure of Painswick fire station and the removal of all whole-time firefighters at Cirencester station. Firefighters believe these cuts will increase response times to emergencies and will compromise their ability to deal with large scale incidents, such as the recent massive fire at Gloucester docks.

Firefighters have already distributed 1000s of leaflets to their local communities and hundreds of people have signed up to...

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Fire: We need to play our role in reforming Labour, says ex-official who backed disaffiliation

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

The former Fire Brigades Union (FBU) official who moved the resolution for the union to disaffiliate from the Labour party has come out in favour of the union’s new political strategy, which calls for re-affiliation.

In an open letter to members Tony Maguire, who served as the regional secretary of the FBU in Northern Ireland at the time of disaffiliation, argues that with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader, the Labour party has changed and the union needs to be part of the debate to reform the party. A bitter pay dispute between the union and the then Blair government led to disaffiliation in 2004.

Maguire writes: “The New Labour element of the Labour party has been taken to task for their arrogance and betrayal of traditional Labour values. In a seismic shift Jeremy Corbyn has been thrust into the leadership role and is indisputably committed to rebuilding a Labour party that can do what working people need and expect it to do. Dare I say it? A ‘Real’ Labour...

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Fire: The Labour re-affiliation debate

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

The Fire Brigades Union have called a special conference that will debate, amongst other issues, whether the union should re-affiliate to the Labour party following the election of FBU parliamentary group founder member Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

The FBU was an affiliate to the Labour party from the 1920’s until 2004 when a bitter pay dispute with the then Blair government led the union to disaffiliate.

In a video update (see above) and all members circular issued this week Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, laid out the union’s political strategy, proposed by the executive council, which calls for re-affiliation.  The proposals would not, however, result in the FBU affiliating to Labour in either Scotland or Northern Ireland and no political fund money from members in either region would go to the Labour party.

Matt Wrack writes in the circular: “It is a strategic debate which should be considered overall, taking account of the different pressures facing us in our regions.

“It is important to note that this is...

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Fire: As Tory onslaught continues – this must be a fight involving millions | Matt Wrack blog

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

This isn’t a good time to be a firefighter. Or a trade unionist. We are looking at more cuts to our service, a possible takeover by police and crime commissioners (PCCs), four more years of a virtual pay freeze, and severe restrictions to our trade union rights in the form of the Trade Union Bill which had its third reading in Parliament today.

If there was ever a time that we need to stand up and be counted and fight against these terrible attacks on our professionalism, our livelihoods, our rights and on public safety, that time is now. We need you to get out there and say: “No, we aren’t standing for this. Enough is enough.”

Campaign together

In many ways the attacks we are facing are the same as those facing millions of other workers and trade unionists. That is why it will be far better if we can campaign together. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has union affiliations representing some 6.5 million workers. If those could be mobilised together on the issues...

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Fire: In November’s issue of Firefighter magazine

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

As firefighters, along with almost 3.8 million other public sector workers, face losing the right to pay their union subscriptions direct from their pay packets, a process known as check-off, Firefighter investigates the impact of these changes on trade unions as well as detailing how FBU members can keep themselves protected.

Firefighter also hears from former Cambridgeshire rep Kerry Baigent, who recently won a constructive dismissal case against her former employers, and FBU campaigns organiser Dan Celardi writes about how members can organise against government attacks on the fire and rescue service.

Other contributions come from the Firefighters Charity and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

The post In November’s issue of Firefighter magazine appeared first on Fire Brigades Union.

Fire: Attacks on firefighters over Bonfire night condemned

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

Firefighters have condemned recent attacks on fire crews around Bonfire Night, Halloween and other public festivals and events. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has also warned that a downward trend in such attacks over recent years could be undermined or reversed if the neutrality of firefighters is undermined by a police takeover.

The warning from the FBU, which represents over 85% of fire and rescue service staff in the UK, comes after a number of incidents throughout the UK where firefighters were attacked while on duty. In Staffordshire, firefighters were forced to call for backup when they were surrounded by a group of youths. Manchester firefighters were pelted with bricks and fireworks while fire crews in Peterborough were attacked as they were extinguishing a bonfire. A number of such incidents were reported in Scotland. Other attacks were reported in Northumberland and Leeds. In at least one incident fire hoses were slashed. These follow recent attacks on fire crews in Northern Ireland.

The union expressed...

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Fire: Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service announce devastating cuts to fire cover

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

Northumberland firefighters have grave concerns at the scale of cuts announced by Northumberland County Council, saying they will have a significant impact on the level of risk facing the public and firefighters.

Northumberland County Council announced cuts impacting across the entire county, with Haydon Bridge fire station set to close, and the loss of a fire engine at West Hartford.   Fire engines at Alnwick, Wooler, Seahouses and Ponteland are to be replaced by smaller vehicles, but no details are available as to what kind of capacity these vehicles will have.  There is to be a total reduction of over 25% in the current fleet of front-line fire engines available to protect the public of Northumberland.

The cuts announced yesterday by the County Council still have to go through the Authority and public consultation to determine what the proposals will mean for public safety.

Guy Tiffin, secretary of the FBU in Northumberland, said: “Firefighters across Northumberland are shocked...

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Fire: Video |Defend workers’ rights – oppose the Trade Union Bill

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

“We need to build a mass movement and stop this Government in its tracks!” FBU leader Matt Wrack sets out an uncompromising message as firefighters joined with Trade Union colleagues to demonstrate against the unfair, unjust and undemocratic Trade Union Bill

The post Video |Defend workers’ rights – oppose the Trade Union Bill appeared first on Fire Brigades Union.

Fire: Fire cuts could lead to industrial action, say West Mids firefighters

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

Firefighters in the West Midlands have warned they could be forced to take industrial action over plans to cut 300 firefighting posts, leaving the service understaffed, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said.

The proposed cuts to West Midlands Fire Service would mean the service would have to rely on the ‘pure goodwill’ of firefighters to work non-obligatory overtime shifts to make sure fire engines can be mobilised to emergencies. This development comes as the nationally agreed overtime rate that firefighters are paid of ‘time and a half’ has been replaced with a flat rate. It is believed that this will make overtime shifts less attractive, increasing the likelihood of staff shortages, which will in turn put public safety at risk.

Steve Price-Hunt, secretary of the FBU in the West Midlands, said: “Industrial action is always a last resort and we hope it doesn’t have to come to that. But we cannot just let these dangerous cuts that could put fire engines out of action go...

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Fire: Firefighters to join TUC lobby against the Trade Union Bill ‘stitch up’

Written by RSS Poster Fire Brigades Union

Firefighters in uniform plan to converge outside the Houses of Parliament today in protest at the proposed Trade Union Bill, which is being condemned as the most savage assault on the rights of working people in decades.

The firefighters, who will be travelling to London from all over the country, will join thousands of workers from other trade unions protesting at the Bill.

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary, said: “We will campaign vigorously until this disgusting Bill is seen for what it is – the attempted removal of the rights of hard working people – and thrown out. When you look at exactly what government intends to impose – the intimidation of striking workers, the slashing of the union facilities time trade union reps need to represent workers, investigate accidents and other activities essential to protecting workers’ rights – this Bill is a blatant attack on those rights, won by previous generations who fought hard for them. For Tory...

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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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