During the devastating floods this winter across northern parts of the UK, firefighters worked around the clock saving lives, helping communities and providing humanitarian support. At the same time the service faces huge cuts to budgets, jobs, stations and fire appliances. Firefighters are now asking the public for their support.
The FBU argues that a statutory duty for firefighters to attend floods would help fire and rescue services, other emergency services and the government as a whole to plan effectively and reduce risk to life and property. Such a duty has already been adopted in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
As a result of government cuts, 7,000 firefighter posts have been lost in the UK since 2010, seriously undermining the fire and rescue service’s ability to deal with floods, fires and other incidents.
Firefighters have always rescued people during floods and will continue to do so but the service needs to be properly resourced, with sufficient staff to deal with more frequent flooding and the best equipment to deal with the hazards.
An increasing amount of time is spent by fire crews dealing with flooding with an estimated 70% of England’s fire and rescue services involved in the aftermath of the UK floods of 2013 – 2014. During the floods firefighters in the UK attended over 7,000 incidents and performed over 2,000 rescues.
The FBU is campaigning for a statutory duty for firefighters in England and Wales to respond to flooding, like their counterparts in Scotland and N Ireland currently have.
Ask your MP to support a statutory duty for firefighters to respond to floods.
Performance indicators presented to the Fire Authority show that arson, rescues and fire related injuries have shown significant increases. Projections show that the trend towards less total activity has now plateaued with only a drop from 22124 (average between 2012 and 2015) and a projected total by April 2016 of 22041. As further cuts are made to our resources the public will face delayed response times and we will be put at greater risk from arriving later (on average) our support crews being busier and further away or on call from home.
Paul Drinkwater (Chair FBU West Yorkshire)
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The FBU has negotiated a new benefit exclusively available to our members. This benefit entitles members of the Fire Brigades Union to exclusive discounts of up to 30% on brand new cars on a wide range of manufacturers from Motor Source Group. The Union has entered into an agreement to provide this opportunity to members who may be considering purchasing a new car. The benefit is available to all members including our out of trade members.
We hope that some of you will find this a welcome addition to your range of benefits.
On average customers have saved £3,575. Brands available include: –
Motor Source Group have agents that will guide members through all of the options available to you and assist with your enquiry through to the handover of your new car at a main franchise dealership. You will receive a fully certified handover from a qualified member of staff. Motor Source Group will even accept your old car as a part exchange vehicle. They also offer a wide range of finance options including Hire Purchase, Personal Contract Purchase and lease.
A charge of £195 is payable for the service but advisors will make you aware of this before you agree any purchase. You will not be charged any fee until you confirm your order.
Visit www.motorsourcegroup.com or phone 01522 5000 55 to make an enquiry.
You may have noticed that an email has been put onto the Firespace homepage by Area Manager Butters in relation to the grievance appeal Andy Imrie won for leave lost to sickness.
His victory means that members will be able to claim their leave back from 2009 if it has been removed unlawfully.
If this affects you could you Cc the Brigade Secretary (using his works email address David.Williams…………) into the email sent to Carole Grimwood or Jaqui Bradley in order that we can monitor the situation.
Finally from us, can you please make everyone is aware of this massive victory and what they should do next and make sure it’s discussed around the mess table.
Yours in unity,
WYFBU Brigade Committee
‘Leave Policy Amendments
Over recent years European legislation has been issued in relation to how much leave can be reimbursed to individuals following a period of sickness absence. These legislative changes resulted in changes to our own Grey book leave policy. These changes were made on the understanding that European legislation took precedence over previous collective agreements that existed in relation to leave.
During investigations triggered by a recent grievance appeal hearing brought by Ff Andy Imrie it was determined that this is not the case and the changes to the leave policy should not have been made without further collective agreement from the representative bodies.
In order to rectify this we are now asking that anyone who feels that they may have been adversely affected by this from April 2009 onwards (specifically in relation to how the reimbursement of leave lost to sickness was calculated) get in touch with the Human Resources department by email detailing the dates of sickness and leave lost (please email either Carole Grimwood or Jacqui Bradley). Leave reimbursement will then be re-calculated based on the 2009 Leave policy (the one that was in existence prior to the changes triggered by the European legislation). For clarity we have put the 2009 Leave policy back on to Firespace. Any reimbursed leave will be added onto individual’s current leave entitlement and arrangements will be put in place to allow leave to be carried over into the next leave year if individuals cannot take all the leave in the current year.
We are also aware that this may have affected personnel who have subsequently retired and we will be getting in touch with those staff to rectify this situation.
Some individuals will be aware that there were collective agreement signatures on the revised leave policies from the managers and officials of the representative bodies that were in place in 2009. This was an administrative error in leaving these signatures on from the original policy. No subsequent collective agreement was reached and as mentioned above the changes made were in the belief that the European legislation was definitive and no further agreement was required or necessary, therefore the signatures should have been removed at that point as they were not party to the further changes.
I would like to formally apologise to those that this adversely affected and we will endeavour to rectify this issue as quickly as possible.
Senior HR Manager’