Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

June 27, 2012 17:35 ET

Essex Fire Crews to Commence Strike, Union Accepts Fresh Offer From ACAS of Further Exploratory Talks

ESSEX, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - June 27, 2012) - Essex fire crews starting an 8-hour strike in protest at cuts and imposed changes have accused their managers of being unwilling and unable to broker a deal. The union has accepted a fresh invitation from ACAS, made this afternoon, to start exploratory talks.

No further details of that meeting are available and a date has still to be agreed.

Essex fire crews are taking strike action in a dispute over frontline cuts and changes forced through by fire chiefs. Current plans for cuts would see the loss of one in five frontline crews in Essex since 2008, with the public already waiting longer for fire crews to turn up to fires in the home.

Alan Chinn-Shaw, FBU Brigade chair said: "No one wants to go on strike, we have only done so in what is a third year of continuing cuts and imposition. Our managers refuse to address the key issues in the dispute and our last resort is to take short-term strike action.

"Our action is only for 8 hours. The cuts being planned will permanently impact on public and firefighter safety.

"The dispute centres on further damaging cuts and changes imposed on fire crews without agreement which impacts on them and the public. These include the way that fire crews are used which reduces the availability of key appliances and equipment.

"We have seen 160 frontline posts axed since 2008 and the current set of cuts would bring that loss to one in five frontline crews. It is already taking longer for appliances to get to home fires and cuts can only make that worse.

"The fire authority has the money as it has underspent its frontline staffing budget by over £1.6 million. It is also building up huge cash reserves - over £12 million - which are much higher than necessary.

"The claim that the fire authority has moved its position on the key issues in the dispute is not correct. There is no trimming back on the frontline cuts, these are going ahead as are further imposed changes.

"Chief officer Johnson has made clear that on the key points in dispute he will not move. The union has, however, accepted an invitation from ACAS of further exploratory talks."

Contact Information

  • Adrian Clarke
    07917 017713

    Keith Handscomb
    07730 435633

    Mick Rogers
    Brigade Secretary
    07967 023709

    Alan Chinn-Shaw
    Brigade Chair
    07967 720363

    Nick Mayes
    Assistant Brigade Secretary
    07917 065870

    Derek Godfrey-Shaw
    07967 023706

    Sue McGregor
    07956 422073