Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

February 22, 2009 19:01 ET

South Yorkshire's Fire Chief Pockets Pay Bonuses Amounting to Pounds Sterling 40,000, His Deputy Pockets Pounds Sterling 25,000, Other Senior Managers Take Pounds Sterling 15,000

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2009) -

EMBARGO 00.01 23 FEBRUARY 2009

Mark Smitherman, South Yorkshire's chief fire officer has pocketed secret pay bonuses amounting to over Pounds Sterling 40,000 in the last three years. The bonuses, never made public, were paid as an extra 10% of his salary in each of the last three years.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Swarbrick also pocketed secret pay bonuses amounting to over Pounds Sterling 30,000. The bonus was paid as an extra 7.5% of his salary in each of the last three years.

These senior managers are leading the campaign to force firefighters to work new shift systems to save money. Firefighters say being forced to work 12-hour days will cause havoc with family life and childcare.

The bonuses are in addition to the publicly known 8% in national pay rises given to senior officers over the last three years. The bonuses, approved by the fire authority but not made public, were given in reply to a Freedom of Information Act question.

Assistant Chief Officers John Hoey and Mike Davis have secured secret bonuses amounting to an extra over Pounds Sterling 15,000 over the same period. Other senior managers in non-uniform roles have also received secret pay bonuses amounting to Pounds Sterling 12,000.

Ian Watkins FBU Regional Chair said: "This is top managers getting caught dipping their bread in the gravy. There is no reason why South Yorkshire fire service should be paying secret bonuses to senior managers.

"These pay bonuses are eye-watering. It does beg the question, aren't their basic salaries enough in this day and age?

"This is the only fire authority in the UK with two headquarters buildings within a short walk of each other. The new one cost Pounds Sterling 19 million and remains only partly used and partly finished.

"The old building is also partly used because the new one isn't yet fully finished. I cannot see how having two headquarters buildings is value for money and we need some answers.

"Senior managers are also responsible for spending Pounds Sterling 2 million on vehicles that are not yet delivered and which may not be fit for purpose. Pounds Sterling 1.7 million of public money may have already been lost.

"These same managers want to force their own firefighters to work another 3 hours in their day shift to save money. Frontline firefighters are sick of being made to suffer while senior managers stuff their pockets with money.

"This is all about responsibility, accountability and openness. At the moment South Yorkshire fire service is short of all three."

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Contact Information

  • Fire Brigades Union
    Ian Murray
    FBU Regional Secretary
    07967 103345
    Fire Brigades Union
    Ian Watkins
    FBU Regional Chair
    07970 148720