The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has welcomed Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s (GMFRS) announcement today that it is not now planning to sack its 1250 strong firefighter workforce. The service withdrew its plans to issue Section 188 notices that would have terminated the firefighters’ contracts of employment – only those who agreed to the new 12 hour shift patterns would have been re-employed.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This is a very welcome move that will allow both parties to engage in discussions about the detail of the proposals to implement the planned cuts to the service’s budget without the threat of action by either party. The FBU has confirmed that it will participate fully in talks facilitated through the independent Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) with both parties engaging constructively in discussions to ensure the safety of the public.”
The TAP talks will begin Thursday 29 September.
The FBU acknowledges that the proposed changes were the result of continuing cuts by this government. The GMFRS has already had to make £28 million of cuts, with the government imposing a further £14.4 million over the next four years.
Approximately 20,000 members of the public signed a petition against the plans to dismiss the firefighters. The FBU’s campaign against the service’s plans to sack and re-engage its firefighters won support across the media.