Firefighters Take Action

FIREFIGHTERS AT stations in Yorkshire, the Midlands, Wiltshire, East Anglia and Scotland are taking unofficial industrial action. They are furious at the details of the deal negotiated with the employers as part of their pay settlement.

As we reported in last week’s socialist, the fire service employers are refusing to pay the full 7% rise to firefighters, due on 7 November. This was the agreement made in June, after the firefighters’ strikes. Now the employers want to pay half now and half in the new year.

But many firefighters are also dissatisfied with other parts of the agreement and the London members at least have rejected it. The main bone of contention is the loss of the long-service increment, meaning a £990 pay cut for long-serving firefighters.

The executive had assured the membership that the long-service increment was safe, a position even endorsed by John Prescott back in May.

“I think the FBU executive should rip the whole deal up and start again”, local FBU rep Paul Child told the socialist. Paul, like many firefighters, had just watched the postal workers score an important victory. “The postal workers have just done it. Most firefighters don’t agree with the proposals in the deal.” The FBU executive will meet again on 6 November.