The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has slammed Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority who this week granted permission for all firefighters to be sacked in two weeks if an agreement cannot be reached on a new duty system. The service would then offer firefighters re-employment but with inferior contracts, including working longer hours.
It had been hoped that the fire authority would defer the decision in order to allow negotiations between the service and the union to continue in good faith. However, authority members who backed this position lost the vote. More than 40 FBU members lobbied councillor's outside the fire authority meeting.
Barry Downey, regional FBU representative, said: “This is a deplorable thing for the authority to have done. How can we negotiate in good faith with this threat hanging over our heads? They have voted to punish firefighters, to make them feel more insecure at work. These are bullying tactics from a fire authority that does not seem to care about the people who deliver a life-saving public service. The FBU will not stand for it. To say we are angry and disappointed is an understatement”.