Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

August 25, 2009 09:23 ET

South Yorkshire Fire Authority is Deliberately Misleading the Public

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Aug. 25, 2009) - South Yorkshire Fire Authority, which wants to make firefighters work 12-hour shifts and threatens to sack them on New Year's Day if they refuse, is issuing misleading statements in an attempt to turn the public against firefighters, says Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union.

Mr Wrack is currently in Yorkshire meeting firefighters. He says: "It looks as though the Fire Authority's misleading statements and deliberate half-truths have run half way round Yorkshire before the truth has got its boots on.

"First, it is not true that we had a 16 per cent pay hike in 2003 in return for modernisation. We had 16 per cent over three years - a very different story.

"Second, it is not true that I refuse to abide by the agreement made by my predecessor in 2003. I and every one of my colleagues abides fully by national agreements signed by the union. But that agreement does not allow South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to tear up our members' contracts of employment.

"Third, it is not true that firefighters won't talk about this through normal, peaceful channels. We want to do just that. The fire authority doesn't want to talk. It wants to impose new shifts on our members without discussion.

"Fourth, and perhaps worst of all, it is not true that the ending of our members' contracts is 'just a technicality.' It's no technicality when the fire authority rips up our members' contracts without any discussion.

"I appeal to the fire authority to come to negotiate over this, rather than demanding immediate obedience and threatening the sack if they don't get it. Negotiation is the way to avoid industrial action in the South Yorkshire fire service."

Contact Information

  • Fire Brigades Union
    Francis Beckett
    020 8349 9194 or 07813 001372