OP Fresco and the Fire Strike

#1
Gents and ladies,

As you may or may not be aware the fire brigades union are having yet another meeting to decide on accepting the "new" "last offer" by the govt.

There is a high chance that they will call more strikes, I wont give the reasons for turning down the offer, unless someone wants to know or the ill informed Sun reader mentaility takes hold.

The point of this thread is simple. I joined the Army at 16, a boy soldier, did various tours and ops, then for my sins when I left I decided to join the fire service. At the time it was either that or the police as I didnt want to work in an office and wanted to keep the adrenalin thrill.
And as we all know what the police are like.....

So when the strikes come again remember that one third of the UK fire service is made up of ex-services- be it Army, Navy or Air.

We ARE NOT TRAITORS OR LEFT WING LOONIES!!!!!

Please bear that in mind when and if (i hope that they dont) start again.

Thank you.
 
#2
No, but you are going on strike.... If your so big and hard, why don't you make a stand and tell the FBU where to stick their strike action?
 
#3
Funnily enough as I said earlier I wasnt going into reasons why the strike would probably be recalled, if you had the full facts and not what you read in the Sun/Biased press you would understand what the real issues are, and why the strikes will happen. Its about protecting the public.

For example.

The Buckinham Place fire took 25 fire engines. London has only 115 fire engines, of which usually 100 to 105 are on service due to staff shortages. Thats means in ONE fire almost 25% of London's fire cover were being used. If you then follow the figures into the amount of cuts that the government wish to bring in the that figure would read, for a night time, 50%. Now you may not live in London, but between 5 and 6 million do ( Govt figures, depending on time of day/day of week)
and to have one fire taking 50% of the fire cover that you pay for at one fire, does not bode well for any one else needing help. Fire, RTA, Special Service etc.

That is what the next round of strikes will be about. Keeping the service providing the best cover possible, and not turning it into the joke that is proposed.

If you think I am scare mongering look to the Army. If it was at the same manning levels as pre-1992 cuts would there be the same level of recruiting and retention problems? No. Would there be the over streching and tour leading to tour problems now? No.

That is what we are trying to prevent. And unlike the Army, we can vote with our feet by going on strike. If and if that is the only/last resort then that will be taken. Even though no one wants to it may be the only way of making a arrogant and uncaring govt. listen to real and warrented worries and concerns.

I sorry if the truth doesnt agree with what you have heard in the NAFFI/mess, read in the papers or been told by your best mate down pub.

Personally I believe I am making a stand and telling the Govt where to stick thier very badly thought out ideas on "modernisation". The funny thing is that 55,000 onther fire fighters, who also know the real reasons also agree with me. Do you realy think we are all left wing loonies?

You can fool all of the people some of the time and that is what is happening with the press coverage.

And as MSR has commented the way he has, do you have and suggestions on a better way or do you suggest that the public deserved to be lied to and then left to suffer and pay for the ill thought out ideas of a few been counters?
 
#4
yawn
 
#5
I think most people will see where you're coming from in terms of public safety and adequate cover and it makes sense to fight for these issues. What gets on everyone's nerves is the massive pay rise and lack of compromise on conditions of service. I know you can't put a price on human life but 40% in the public sector is kicking the arrse out of it. I got 3.2% this year so I'm going to have to work at promotion if I'm to make a real difference to my pay packet, I don't have time for a second job.

Good luck to you and your colleagues but if you're after sympathy from the men and women who's careers/lives/plans you've disrupted, think again.
 

Ventress

LE
Moderator
#6
That is what we are trying to prevent. And unlike the Army, we can vote with our feet by going on strike. If and if that is the only/last resort then that will be taken. Even though no one wants to it may be the only way of making a arrogant and uncaring govt. listen to real and warrented worries and concerns.
You said it yourself- the uncaring governrment- hello?coffee on? You should try working for the MOD! We die and they dont care!

The fact you want to strike is the amazing thing- you spout off about being a public life-saving service, try acting like one--DONT!

Same thread, same posts.Same o' Same 'o! Nothing changes, a fireman trying to justify himself! And still they pump out the same $hite- "Dont believe what you read in the Sun...." Hey Fireman Sam- we never have; we dont,; never will,trust me. If we did the Army wouldn't have gone to Iraq with the same purpose.

Also by reading the majority of posts in this forum- you can see the armed forces have reasoned arguement and can form our own opinions by reading more than the Sunday Sport- Your low opinion is noted.
 
#8
That is what the next round of strikes will be about. Keeping the service providing the best cover possible, and not turning it into the joke that is proposed.
Personally I believe I am making a stand and telling the Govt where to stick thier very badly thought out ideas on "modernisation".  
And here was I thinking that the strikes were about an extortionate pay demand!  If you hadn't been so greedy then the government wouldn't have looked so closely at your "duties" and recommended change (wasn't it an independant review?)

So now you realise you've lost public support for the wage rise you "conveniently" change your battle cry to one of "trying to save the service".  Let's get real here, you're changing the goalposts to justify strike action.  I'm sorry if the truth doesnt agree with what you have heard in the station, read in the papers or been told by your best mate/shop steward down the pub.

The users of this site are (I feel) indicitave of the public you wish to serve yet you come up with no new arguments or justification every time you are pressed.  If you wish to follow your FBU masters to hell in a hand basket then that is up to you BUT do not accuse me or others of this site of being misled or ill-informed on this or any other subject.  

I do have great respect for FF and the job they do but I also have respect for most other public service employees who do a no less necessary job than the Fire Brigade (albeit less hazardous) but you are being used as pawns by the FBU commisars and the sooner you realise this and start compromising the less painful it will be in the long run.
 
E

ex-dvr

Guest
#9
Carlos_Hathcock_II

The point of this thread is simple. I joined the Army at 16, a boy soldier, did various tours and ops, then for my sins when I left I decided to join the fire service. At the time it was either that or the police as I didnt want to work in an office and wanted to keep the adrenalin thrill.
And as we all know what the police are like.....

what are the police like? don't believe everything in the daily mirror you know!!  ( No I am not a policeman)

As far as I can see the latest offer has been well published, and no it probably is not ideal, it will be more difficult for you if you have to work more than 163 days (approx) a year, how will you maintain the second job? how will you get twenty days off and only use 8 days annual leave?

Why do you think we all read the sun? where do you get your info from? don't you think we are not capable of research?
 
#10
ex dvr, why do you have a go at the way our time is rostered ? The police and many civilian workforces are actively pursuing a change to our system. Throughout the year we work an average of 42 hours per week (5 hours more than the national average). Just because it is rostered in large lumps doesn`t make the hours any less. We are not whingeing about the hours even though we do that extra 5 , so why should it bother you if our time off is also well worked out into large lumps.? And, if we choose to utilise that time to earn a little extra rather than p*ssing it up against the wall , why should that bother you. I think more than a little envy is the real objection you have to us.
 
#13
"You said it yourself- the uncaring governrment- hello?coffee on? You should try working for the MOD! We die and they dont care! " Qman9193.

You obviously didnt read all of my thread. I started by saying that I joined the Army as a boy soldier..... so I have worked for the MoD, infact I still do as Im also in the TA. And, Sir, may I say that it is a totally $hit position to be in but they will continue to take the piss if people let them. eg, When the notification came down to the widow of the RM about repaying £400 wages and moving out, the spineless been counter that thought that one up should have been told where to put his life by the person they told to deliver the message. But it is a case of "I'm all right Jack".

You also said.. "Also by reading the majority of posts in this forum- you can see the armed forces have reasoned arguement and can form our own opinions by reading more than the Sunday Sport- Your low opinion is noted. "

One of the reasons why I posted the thread was because of the very reason you have pointed out. But in reading many of the other responses I can see that even if the IQ is higher than the total Sun readership there are still very badly informed arguments. If you are in full knoledge of the facts and then decide to deride the fire service then that is your choise but if you are not... then you appear to be ignorant and ilinformed.
As for my low opinion being noted, well that in its self smacks of "if you dont aggree with me then your for it!"

This was not ment as an attack on you personally or the Armed Forces, as I say again I am prowd to have served with the colours.

"I got 3.2% this year so I'm going to have to work at promotion if I'm to make a real difference to my pay packet, I don't have time for a second job. " Soldier W.

Whilst I agree the amount you have been paid is not really up to the job you do, you can go for promotion. In the fire service there is promotion but the jump from FF to LeadingFF is only £50 a month. Not realy going to make any difference. The time when promotion payrises starts to show is when I reach senior officer status, nolonger fighting fires, ADO rank and above. And still the pay is only approaching £30k.

"And here was I thinking that the strikes were about an extortionate pay demand!  If you hadn't been so greedy then the government wouldn't have looked so closely at your "duties" and recommended change (wasn't it an independant review?) " Soldier Why.

No it was not an independant review.
In Jan 2002 a Govt report was published by the HM Inspectorate, the body who's job it is to know the fire service inside and out and is nothing to do with either the local authority employers or the firefighters.
They recamended a doubling of resorces. From the numbers of fire fighter to appliances to money being spent. They also recamended a pay rise. The report, supprisingly enough, was "lost" and was only "found" when a copy was leaked to Channel 4 for an interview with John Prescott. He babbled, floundered and stuttered but was unable to exlain why a govt report less than 8 months old was totally different to the Bain Report.
At the time of the HM Inspectorate report the FBU went to another Govt body, The Labour Review Board, and asked for a review for the working practices and wages. This is the same body that recamended a 40% rise and pensions rise to all MP's. They looked at what we now do, the hours, danger, skills needed, and where the pay agreement of 1977 should be and said that we should have a .......40% rise!
We didnt pull that figure out of the air!
When the Bain Report was being talked about, it hadnt even started to be worked, one of the "independant" muppets on it went up to a leading FBU rep and told him that we would not get 40%, but 16%. If it was so "independant" how did they know the recamendation before the inqurey had even started?
Also the recamendations that they gave are dangerous, tell me how a fire service can be better and safer with less fire fighters, less fire stations and less appliances? Also the recmendations they gave had ALL been given before by the govt, some as long ago as 10 years. And even more suspect was the fact that some of these "improvements" were wirten word for word the same as they had been back when they were first presented 10 years ago! If you think that is independant then you are mad as a box of frogs! You only thought it was independant because that is what you have been told...... by the press etc. As I said before it best to know the full facts.

Cont.
 
E

ex-dvr

Guest
#14
Carlos_Hathcock_II wrote:

As I said before it best to know the full facts.
I keep asking the question of FF. where do you get all the facts from? are the public not allowed to see the "full facts" or is it just that the "facts" are what we have all seen as published, and "the FULL FACTS" are what you are told by the FBU? and you are keeping secret from the public.  How do we get the full facts?

If it is just the proposal that was put forward at the end of Jan (I think) my own opinion based on what I read of that document and the reaction of the FBU is, you want the money but do not want to change your shifts or the way you work now, basically you want all the cake and eat it as well, it just seems there is no compromise from the FBU at all. But no doubt I don't have all the "facts" as Tenorplayer will no doubt point out . Someone should have somewhere ???
( just trying to save him a post)

Tenorplayer what is your working weekly hours, not your average? I used to work 62 hours a week one week then 28 hours the next as i could only work 90hours per fortnight so my average was 45 hours per week!! you get paid for 42 hours per week is that productivity hours or attendance hours?
 
#15
Well  ..... if I understand this correctly, the FBU are going to meet again on Tue 20 May, therefore the earliest they can strike is Tue 27 May which means deployment over the weekend, Bank Holiday Mon 26 and working on the Soveigns B'day on Tue 27 May.

This is hardly the way for the FBU to enlicit public or indeed The Armed Forces's support !!
 
#16
"what are the police like? don't believe everything in the daily mirror you know!!  ( No I am not a policeman) ex-dvr.

It was not ment as a slagging for the police. I havent read what the Mirror said. What was ment was this. About 15 years ago the Met police had a good deal, mortguage relief, rent allowance, free travel, and many other "perks" but the been counters in thier infinate wisdom decided to save money by cutting all of it. The net result was.... sever undermanning in the police, the saying "pay penuts get monkeys" was totally correct. The police at the time may not have been the best for the job but were infact the best that applied for the job. That can be a big difference I think you will agree.
To get ride of the undermanning problems what has happened? well the police now have back alot of there "perks". Funny that.

Also look to the Armed Forces cuts of the early 90's. The Army is now so undermanned that people are getting fcuked off with not seeing the family and are leaving. Recruitment is down because noone wants to join as they can see that morale is lower than a snakes gonads.

What we are trying to do is what both the police and the Armed Forces couldnt do. Stop the cuts before its to late.

In the early 70's I was at school with a firemans children. They were on free milk as he earnt so little the family were on state handouts. The only people who wanted to do the job were not the best people for it. Then the strike of 77 and things changed. We are trying to ensure that they dont go back to what they were.

"As far as I can see the latest offer has been well published, and no it probably is not ideal, it will be more difficult for you if you have to work more than 163 days (approx) a year, how will you maintain the second job? how will you get twenty days off and only use 8 days annual leave?" ex dvr.

Well has it? How much do you think the offer is for? 16%?  WRONG!
The offer is for 4%, only .3% above what we were going to get under the pay formula that was already in place. The rest of the mythical 12% can only come about after cuts are made And if the cuts dont save enough money then no pay rise. There is nothing promised.

The reason why the union wont sign up to it is because it is so vauge, nothing is set, it is all maybe's, what if's. It says that they will try to reach consensus on the cuts but if they cant.... tough!

As for the amount of days worked... Ill give you your own question... "don't you think we are not capable of research? " Judging by your statments no. Or that you have but you may as well have asked your left boot for all the correct answers it gave.

Fact. We work a 48 hour shift. 2 x 9 hour days and 2 x 15 hour nights. Over 365 days a year this works out to a 42 hour week. Above the national average.

So if judging by what you have said I have worked my 48 hour week, I then love working so much that I run out and get a second job!!!!!! Are you a fcuking idiot?
The one and only reason why fire fighters have a second job is so they can pay the bills. Do you think I want to work two jobs?

We are not so luck as to have rent allowance, or have accomadation provided at a very small cost... like you. True if a squadie doesnt want to live in the block he then has to rent/buy his own place. Or get married and then get a pad. We dont. We have to buy ours!

You try paying a £500+ morguage when all you earn is £1100 a month. And before you say I cant count because 21k devided by 12 is more than that we pay £300 a month for a pension.

That Sir is why we have two jobs!

Would you like two jobs? You know in that time when you are going to see the wife/girlfriend, see the kids? Well actually off you go and be a builder, plumber or what ever job it is. See how you like it.

Ex dvr, please do what you said you could do in your thread and do some research because your statments are illinformed and show that all you have done is read the sun! or some other rag.
 
#17
"I do have great respect for FF and the job they do but I also have respect for most other public service employees who do a no less necessary job than the Fire Brigade (albeit less hazardous) but you are being used as pawns by the FBU commisars and the sooner you realise this and start compromising the less painful it will be in the long run. " Soldier Why.

The problem with that satment is the fact of assuming that we are infact being led by commissars. The problem being when the Govt publishes the Bain Report and other offers, educated and intelegent people read them. They are not all left wing. I am not. But if the Govt put it in black and white and you have half a brain enough to read and digest and understand you dont need to be bamboosled by the commissars. The vote to strike was 9-1 for. Do you seriously think that many people were fooled by the left wing agitators?

After all things are said and done, I hope to God that we do not strike. People WILL be in danger. Squadies, because they are not trained to do the job just to squrt water, and because they are sent to fires, car fires that if the little scrotes that set it alight have put a gas cylinder or three in the ( as happens alot) will go bang big time. They have no fire kit, no eye protection. And uniform melts, so does Gore-Tex!

The public because the response times are a death sentance if they as stuck in a fire waiting to be rescued.

In the last strike I help RAF crews resuce from a fire and cut people out of RTA's. I did that because I saw the incident and knew that after all the bluster of the govt and senoir officers the guys on the ground were not experienced enough to know what to do.

It is a $hit sandwich gents. There are no winners.
 
#18
Recruitment is down
Wrong - it is up and since the Gulf war the highest it has been for some time.
What we are trying to do is what both the police and the Armed Forces couldnt do. Stop the cuts before its to late.
Slightly off again. The firemen need an independant pay review body, the same as the Armed Forces and the Police, and striking is not the way to get public support and a pay rise !

Furthermore there are plenty of recruits wanting to join the fire service, therefore is the pay really that bad ?

In the last strike I help RAF crews resuce from a fire and cut people out of RTA's. I did that because I saw the incident and knew that after all the bluster of the govt and senoir officers the guys on the ground were not experienced enough to know what to do
Much appreciated. The Armed Forces cannot replace you - all we can do is to provide an emergency service to try and save life.

There are no winners.
A wise statement and therefore by your definition the FBU will lose.

Without wishing to repeat what has been said, firefighters have public respect, do not waste it over striking for more pay because you will cheapen your profession in the same way as the teaching profession did. They are now regaining it but is has taken sometime.
 
#19
"I keep asking the question of FF. where do you get all the facts from? are the public not allowed to see the "full facts" or is it just that the "facts" are what we have all seen as published, and "the FULL FACTS" are what you are told by the FBU? and you are keeping secret from the public.  How do we get the full facts? " ex dvr.

Mate, what can I say but they are there and the Govt doesnt what you to know them. Fact. During the last strike the employers were suspending anyone who spoke to the press unles they were FBU (commissars) reps. To make them sound left wing and loony.

"Tenorplayer what is your working weekly hours, not your average? I used to work 62 hours a week one week then 28 hours the next as i could only work 90hours per fortnight so my average was 45 hours per week!! you get paid for 42 hours per week is that productivity hours or attendance hours? "

As each shift rotaes around an eight week cycle it is hard to answer that. We work 2x9 hour days, and 2x 15 hour nights. Then we are off duty and the next tour starts the day afterthe last one. eg tour 1 starts on monday then tour 2 starts on tuesday and so on.
As you see it works out at 48 hour but over the 8 week cycle averages out to 42.
Productivity? Well thats difficult because we dont produce anything. We are there always, in we are not on shouts then we could be inspecting premises, checking licences of clubs, pubs, rail lines, tube lines, training, servicing and maintaining equipment. Much like the Army.

"Well  ..... if I understand this correctly, the FBU are going to meet again on Tue 20 May, therefore the earliest they can strike is Tue 27 May which means deployment over the weekend, Bank Holiday Mon 26 and working on the Soveigns B'day on Tue 27 May.

This is hardly the way for the FBU to enlicit public or indeed The Armed Forces's support !! " Ramillies.

I can only vouch for the validity of the reasons for the strike not the imbicils who run the strike. Moves are afoot to oust Gilcrist and co because they have managed to prolong this to the extreme. But I agree with you. We are shooting ourselfs in the foot!
I think they have sold out to the govt.
I know this isnt going to help, but, sorry.
 
#20
Ex-dvr , in answer to your quezzie , 2days of 9 hours followed by to nights of fifteen hours total 48 hours , taken over an 8 day cycle this means 42 hour average.
Attendance hours ?? do we not get paid when not actually firefighting ?  My bootneck son has just got back from Iraq but in total ,including Abu al Khasib he probably had maybe twenty od hours of actual contact, does that mean that he should be paid  20 hours pay ? even though he was committed since early Jan? Not a very reasonable supposition.
When not at fires etc we also train every day (like the Mil) , maintain our equipment every day(like the Mil) do station duties,paperwork,fire prevention innitiatives and so on and so on every day. To my mind if yopu are on the job every hour you get paid every hour , the Mil wouldn`t like getting paid just for fighting time would they ?
 

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