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The FBU was very disappointed to read the commissioner’s latest blog post, in which he openly threatens to sack every London firefighter if he does not get his way in the talks currently taking place over proposed shift changes.

Coming at such a sensitive time in the discussions, and just three days before a crucial meeting with the union, the commissioner’s comments are extremely ill-timed and highly inflammatory. One might also have thought that, in view of the scandal that recently broke over the commissioner’s vast salary increases (it was revealed that he was paid £200,000 last year – £58,000 more than the prime minister, and more than seven times the wage of a firefighter), he would show some humility and restraint in his public statements.
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Matt Wrack re-elected

FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack has been re-elected. He received 6,088 votes. The other candidate John McGhee received 3,920.

42,376 ballot papers were sent out, so the turn-out was slightly under 25%.

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This is a London FBU Newsletter

‘THE REPUTATION OF the London Fire Brigade is being dragged through the mud. The authority which runs our service has become a freakshow. Its standing could not descend any lower, and the people—our members—who go to work every day to do their best for the people of London are sick and tired of the degenerate behaviour of their political bosses. Enough is enough.’

Those were the damning words, spoken last night, of FBU regional secretary Joe MacVeigh, after 48 hours of controversy, during which the reputation of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) sunk to a new low.

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South Yorks Fire dispute: formal letters sent threatening to sack firefighters if they will not accept shift changes.

The South Yorkshire Fire Authority has today sent letters to over 700 firefighters saying they will be sacked if they do not accept the changes to their contract of employment. Fire crews have been given until January 18th to respond.

Fire Brigades Union accused the authority of bringing the tactics of Victorian pit owners to the fire service for the first time. It says firefighters are angered at the move and will consider their response at a meeting this Friday. (more…)

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London FBU is set to commence industrial action next week after talks aimed at averting a dispute ended in deadlock. The union will announce its ballot result on Thursday, and senior officials say they are expecting a big ‘yes’ vote.

The action is in response to a sustained period of aggression by London Fire Brigade managers, which has seen attacks to a number of conditions of service. Brigade managers and union leaders attended two full days of talks, which stretched late into the night, but the brigade was not prepared to concede the union’s demands. (more…)

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Essex fire crews and officers have given the fire authority a further 10 days to shelve plans to cut firefighters or they will ballot for industrial action. The Fire Brigades Union has accused the fire authority of targeting frontline fire crews for cuts rather than looking at genuine efficiency savings.

The union has called for a joint review of the balance between office based activities and the 999 emergency response with a view to redeploying resources to fire stations. It says there also needs to be a better balance between prevention activities and the need for a proper and safe emergency response. (more…)

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This is an FBU press release

Nearly £40 million will be spent on nine regional fire control centre buildings before they become operational because of years of delays. The first regional fire control centres will have cost over two years in rent and other charges before they become operational in July 2010. (more…)

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