Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

January 15, 2010 12:51 ET

South Yorkshire Firefighters Issue New Strike Call After SYFR Reject Their Proposals to Settle the Dispute

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Jan. 15, 2010) - The Fire Brigades Union has called new strike action in South Yorkshire following the failure of the employer to agree a mechanism to settle the long running dispute. The Chief Officer has refused to withdraw the threat to sack South Yorkshire firefighters or to end the procedures already underway to carry out the sackings.

The FBU have announced a 48 hour strike starting at 09.00 hours 24 January 2010 until 09.00 hours 26 January 2010. It has given the Fire Authority until Monday to withdraw the threat to sack firefighters, otherwise they may face another 8 day strike.

SYFR have refused to agree to any ACAS terms of reference that would include the full range of issues under dispute. These include issues such as work routines, breaks and any compensation to be paid for the changes made. This is despite the employer already offering a compensation package.

Regional Secretary Ian Murray said: "It is outrageous that they have refused to stop the process of sacking our members. They have now withdrawn an offer of compensation that they have already made and they are attempting to set limits on what can be considered as binding by ACAS.

"We have written to them on several occasions seeking to resolve this matter and offering other alternative routes which are commonly used in the fire service. Most recently we wrote on 12 January requesting that they withdraw their intent to start the sacking process and the full range of issues we would like to be considered by ACAS but they have written back to us completely ignoring the contents of our letter.

"The FBU has also spoken to ACAS fully explaining its position and why it is necessary for them to give a decision on the whole thing and not just the parts that SYFR want to be considered. The FBU thought it had a breakthrough when we met with DCFO Steve Swarbrick on 17th December and he agreed to recommend to the Fire Authority on 21st December that the matter should be resolved through the Fire Service procedures (Joint Secretaries).

"Despite this assurance he never even reported back whether the Fire Authority had accepted this. Instead we were told that a process that could ultimately end up with the sacking of large numbers of firefighters would re-start on 4th January.

"The FBU has got political support for its request to get 3rd party assistance without any preconditions to end this dispute, but SYFR will only agree to 3rd Party assistance with their preconditions."

Contact Information

  • Regional and local media contacts
    Fire Brigades Union
    Ian Murray
    07967 103345
    Fire Brigades Union
    Jeremy Pagan
    07977 931086