Executive Council Proposed Resolution to Recall Conference
Please find below the resolution which the Executive Council has agreed to submit to Standing Orders Committee for the Recall Conference on 21 March.
Executive Council resolution
National Joint Council: work-streams, pay and conditions
Conference notes the background statement issued by the Executive Council, which sets out recent developments in discussions on pay, conditions and other matters at the National Joint Council.
Conference remains of the view that the strategy it has developed over more than four years remains the best way forward and the best way to address the concerns of all members about pay, terms and conditions, emergency cover and the long-term sustainability of our service.
This position can be summarised as:
- We believe that the adoption of a long-term strategic approach is absolutely correct.
- We believe that the broad terms of the strategic approach agreed by previous Conferences remain correct.
- Whilst maintaining a strategic approach, tactics may need to be adapted to take account of changing circumstances.
We face many opponents who would want to see the fire service suffer continuing cuts and fragmentation with attacks on collective bargaining and the further undermining of pay and conditions. The ultimate aim for some of these is the wholesale privatisation of the fire and rescue service across the UK and an ever greater use of volunteer agencies to undermine and by-pass the need for professional firefighters. That route will do nothing to protect and improve public or firefighter safety; we reject it and will campaign relentlessly against it.
However, there is an urgent need to address the very significant concerns and objections identified by FBU members in relation to EMR and wider work considered under these discussions. There is also an urgent need to address the lack of progress on MTFA due to obstacles created by government.
Conference agrees the following:
- To maintain the strategy previously set out and agreed to develop the fire and rescue service as a modern and professional public protection and emergency response service with national professional standards at the heart of all future work.
- To ensure that the case for national professional pay and conditions remains at the heart of this approach and that employers and governments are fully aware that there must be progress on fire service pay.
- To finalise the FBU research on pay and to publicise this as appropriate as part of our campaign to improve pay. This should involve briefing meetings with members around the country.
- To develop further lobbying and campaigning activity in order to make the case for investment in our service to undertake on a sustainable basis the work required to tackle the range of risks faced by our communities.
- To make clear to governments and employers that further attacks on the NJC or on national collective bargaining arrangements risk the ending of the delicate discussions around the future work of our service and create unnecessary conflict within the fire and rescue service.
- To instruct the Executive Council to immediately discuss with the employers revising the current EMR trials in order to urgently address the most vital areas of concern on operational, safety and welfare issues and to report on this to Conference in May 2017. Trials of EMR (including wider work) will continue while the Executive Council addresses the following:
- A national agreement to address the operational, safety, welfare and related concerns identified by FBU members.
- A national agreement with the employers to lobby and explore the mechanisms to secure sustainable funding for the fire and rescue service in relation to new areas of work.
- Agreement for oversight committees at national and local level to monitor progress in any trials, including agreed mechanisms to address concerns raised.
- Agreement with the employers for a clear timetable to address the pay and conditions demands of the FBU in relation to the work-streams project.
- Agreement for satisfactory collection of robust data from all participating services.
- Discussions with governments in all parts of the UK regarding the sustainability of the work identified by the five NJC work-streams.
- Setting a clear end date for these trials; no later than the end of November 2017. Prior to any such date the Executive Council will report to members with recommendations for the next steps. At that time, and in the absence of
- clearly identified sustainable funding
- a clear commitment from the employers for a pay structure to reflect the potential new work identified by the work-streams
the trials and related non-contractual work will cease.
- To demand that government ministers put in place the necessary collaboration measures to ensure data is adequately shared so that best practice can be developed from the trials.
- To inform and consult all members about the strategies agreed by Conference, the progress made and the problems identified.
- To further review the situation by Conference in May 2017.
- Conference instructs the Executive Council to submit a pay claim for 2017 and, in the absence of an acceptable pay settlement for 2017 for FBU members, the current additional and non-contractual work being carried out under the umbrella of the work-streams will cease.