Membership consultation on national negotiations on the future of our service
FBU members will be aware that for some time the union has been engaged in discussions with our employers about the future direction of the work of the fire and rescue service. These discussions have addressed areas of change and have examined work currently undertaken by firefighters or work which might potentially be undertaken by firefighters. Each side accepts that some of these areas under discussion are currently clearly outside of role and therefore non-contractual. There are also activities where this issue is less clear. These discussions continue and there will be further dialogue at the National Joint Council on 14 February.
The union’s conference has debated these issues for the past few years. The FBU engaged in this process taking account of the fact that our profession and service has always been subject to change and development and after discussing with firefighter unions across the world about similar debates elsewhere. Our conference also took account of the unprecedented scale of cuts facing our service and the long-term attack on our wages through the government’s public sector pay freeze and pay restraint.
The discussions with the employers have taken place through the NJC using the five work-streams that examined the broad areas of fire service work. This has been reported to members through all members’ circulars and NJC joint circulars, in order that the developments can be considered by all FBU members as they affect the long-term future of our profession and our service. Our conference has also been clear that the issue of pay needs to be central to these discussions.
Therefore this week the Executive Council has decided to engage in major and detailed consultation with our members on these issues. Arrangements for this will be put in place immediately and will include a recall of our union’s conference in the near future.