Leicestershire firefighters lodge dispute with fire service over duty systems

Firefighters have lodged a formal local dispute with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) management following a breakdown in negotiations over duty systems.

Last year, local Fire Brigades Union (FBU) officials met with LFRS management to discuss the Day Crewing Plus (DCP) duty system worked by 74 Leicestershire firefighters. This was after a judicial review in May 2018 deemed the Close Proximity Crewing (CPC) duty system in South Yorkshire unlawful, which is similar to DCP.

After failing to achieve a collective agreement with the FBU to allow DCP to continue, some LFRS managers have encouraged FBU members to join another trade union or association which might be prepared to sign an agreement.

The FBU hopes the dispute will address LFRS senior managers’ attitudes towards the Trade Union Facilities Time Policy. Senior managers have regularly hindered FBU representatives’ ability to carry out their trade union role by failing to reach agreement on facility time within appropriate timescales.

Ben Selby, FBU East Midlands executive council member, said:

“FBU conference has voted over a number of years to oppose DCP and CPC crewing systems. At this year’s conference, firefighters resoundingly rejected a resolution to look at ways to bring duty systems like DPC and CPC within the law. Signing an agreement for it to continue locally would be against the wishes of the majority of our members.

“We’re appalled that LFRS management are trying to get around this by encouraging our members to join other trade unions or associations. They know full well that this will damage industrial relations and undermine current collective bargaining arrangements with the FBU in Leicestershire.

“This needs to stop immediately and management must sit down with the FBU to look at alternative duty systems which protect the terms and conditions of firefighters.”

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