COVID-19: Fire Brigades Union postpones Annual Conference and educational courses

In light of the escalating public health crisis caused by Covid-19 (coronavirus), the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has confirmed the postponing of its Annual Conference and educational courses.

The decision comes after the Executive Council met to discuss the latest public health advice from the government, which urged against holding all small and large gatherings in public places and encouraged people to practice ‘social distancing’ to stem the spread of the virus. The Annual Conference was due to take place in Brighton in May, with FBU Women’s school and all other educational events due to take place before the end of July.

Despite having to take these measures, the FBU is reassuring members that the union’s functions will continue and that it will be engaging directly with employers and political bodies throughout the crisis to ensure fire and rescue personnel are protected. Members are being encouraged to make contact with their local officials should issues arise.

In light of developments, the Executive Council also agreed that as branch meetings are unable to go ahead as normal, all FBU elections due to take place will be postponed.

The FBU has said that it will have to contact members in different ways during the crisis, making the most of technology, and will review future educational events closer to the time. The union is also looking to reschedule Annual Conference for later in the year.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:

“We face challenging times with the coronavirus outbreak, but the FBU will continue to work on the behalf of our members. We will argue and campaign to ensure the fire service has the resources it needs, and that FBU members are looked after, both in terms of their health and safety, and their conditions of service at work.”

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