Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in Hereford and Worcester are furious that the fire and rescue service there is today (14 February) seeking permission to sack firefighters and offer them re-employment only if they accept inferior terms and conditions, including working more hours.
This confrontational threat comes as the fire and rescue service seeks to impose a new crewing system on its employees. FBU members are sending a delegation to lobby today’s meeting at the Fire Authority.
Barry Downey, regional FBU representative, said: “The fire and rescue service here is showing no love for its employees today by seeking these draconian powers. There have been angry outbursts amongst members in the past, but I’ve never seen them so incensed as this.
“We have engaged constructively in negotiations since August last year, and we believe agreement is possible. Any agreement is now at risk if this new and unnecessary plan is imposed on our members by way of sacking and re-employing them under worse terms and conditions. It’s an aggressive act.
“Firefighters want to provide the best possible professional service to the community and are willing to work with the service to do that, but if they are under threat of the sack that makes this very difficult. We are calling on the Fire Authority not to give the Chief Fire Officer these powers, and urge him to remain at the negotiating table with us.”