‘We present this award in recognition of 25 years of commitment to the union, the fire service and the public who we serve’
These are the words written on the certificate presented to FBU members, alongside a specially commissioned badge, who have completed 25 years in the union and fire service.
The 25 year badge is a long standing award which recognises not only the length of time a member has served within the FBU, but also our sincere gratitude for what their commitment has achieved for us all.
As firefighters, we know that everything we have, has had to be won, sometimes through significant sacrifice, by previous generations of members. This is why the 25 year badge is so important. It recognises members who have stayed united and not sold out, who have stood, and in many cases fought, together in disputes against cuts to jobs, pay, conditions, pensions and much more besides. So, the 25 year badge is not just a symbol of ‘time served’ but also a recognition of integrity in our profession and our union.
Now, a new award for 40 years’ service is also being introduced by the union. This award, which does not replace the 25 year badge, follows a decision made by our 2017 annual conference. The award is in recognition of the outstanding contribution made by FBU members within fire controls and also recognises that, under the provision of current pension schemes, 40 year membership may also be achieved by firefighters and other members.
The criteria for members to qualify for the new 40 year badge has been set by the executive council and is as follows:
‘As of 1 October 2018, a currently serving member who has completed 40 years unbroken membership of the Fire Brigades Union’
The new award has meant a redesign of the current 25 year badge, to make sure the two badges complement each other. The new 40 year badge will be in gold and the 25 year badge will be in silver. Both badges have been especially commissioned and feature the new FBU badge in the centre. In addition, a new certificate has been developed and will be presented alongside the 40 year badge. This certificate is based on the 25-year design decided upon by the EC. The wording of the certificate comes from the general secretary.
All the 25 and 40 year certificates are hand signed by the general secretary and president.
To help identify qualifying members for 25 and 40 year awards, head office has added a special link to our membership system. This means that the membership system should automatically identify when a member has reached 25 and 40 years continuous membership. When this happens a signed and framed certificate will be sent along with the appropriate badge to local officials for presentation to the member. This system ‘goes live’ on 1 January 2019, however, please remember that the system is only as good as the information that members put in to it, so please keep your details up to date.
We know how important and highly valued the 25 year badge is to members, it’s important to us too. We hope that the new 40 year badge will also now be valued in the same way, if not even more highly. The people who have earned it have shown integrity and commitment to our union which we all value. They should all be proud of their achievement and wear those badges with pride.