Army Green Goddesses not coping in Merseyside

The Army Green Goddesses in Merseyside are not responding to all emergency calls. The Fire Brigades Union, working with the Chief Fire Officer’s figures, estimates that only 30% of emergency calls are receiving a response from the Green Goddesses; the other 70% of calls are not being attended.

This flies in the face of claims from the Chief Fire Officer, Malcolm Saunders, that the Army is coping during the current fire strike in Merseyside. There was a fire last night in Southport where 20% of the Green Goddess fire cover was in attendance, thus leaving the rest of Merseyside even more depleted.

The General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union has today informed the Merseyside Fire Authority and Fire Brigades Union members of new dates for a second strike, which will begin at 17.30 hours on Monday 23 July and last for eight consecutive days ending on Tuesday 31 July at 18.00 hours.

Les Skarratts, Brigade Secretary Merseyside said: “It is clear that the Army is not coping and the public are being deprived of proper fire cover during our strikes. FBU members in Merseyside do not want to be on strike; we have been forced into this position by a Chief Fire Officer and Fire Authority intent on disregarding a decision of the Fire Service National Disputes Panel and thereby smashing our National Conditions of Service.”

Andy Gilchrist, General Secretary said: “Six months ago the Fire Service agreed a new National Disputes Procedure following an independent inquiry into industrial relations by Professor Burchill of Keele University. The Merseyside Fire Authority was the only Fire Authority to disagree with the findings of the independent report and by disregarding the decisions of the National Disputes Panel it is clear that they are now intent on smashing the National Agreement for their own ends.

"This strike is totally unnecessary and can be ended by the Fire Authority adhering to the National Conditions of Service, the same as every other Fire Authority in the country.”

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