service will be a meaningless distraction from the current pay
dispute within the fire service. The review will not involve
the key stakeholders within the fire service as the Fire
involved in the review.
The wide-ranging review being undertaken by the government and
the fire service employers' is a complete waste of time and
public money. Reviews of this nature would normally take
between 3-5 years to complete.
Andy Gilchrist, FBU general secretary said: 'This governmental
review will, according to the terms of reference, be a
complete review of the entire UK fire service, including all
operational and training aspects, all fire service
responsibilities and conditions of service for professional
firefighters and emergency fire control staff. A review as
wide-ranging as this, if done properly, would take years to
complete and would have to involve ALL key stakeholders in the
fire service. The review being undertaken by George Bain
cannot and does not involve the key stakeholders and is
therefore a complete sham.
The government has already made clear that there are no
guarantees of extra money to fund any of the recommendations
from this review, which further supports our view that the
review is a meaningless distraction.
Meanwhile, the FBU today released independent
research from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, which sets out
potential savings to the UK economy of up to£3.031bn.
The research entitiled, 'The True Challenge' uses the
government's own figures to show the potential savings to
the UK economy as a whole that can be realised by attaining
the government's published targets in areas such as
community fire safety, arson control and a move to a risk
based approach to fire.
Andy Gilchrist, FBU general secretary said: 'We have said
all along that our£30,000 pay demand could be cost
neutral; these figures now prove that the government could
save the economy up to£3.031bn for a small
investment in the fire service. The government's targets
in the areas of community fire safety, arson control and a
move to risk based fire cover are all supported by the Fire
Brigades Union. These areas can truly modernise our fire
service and there is no need for an inquiry to get this
Mike Fordham, FBU assistant general secretary said: 'The
FBU now challenges the government to stop presenting public
services as a burden on the economy and start true
investment in public services and public servants to the
benefit of the economy and the public as a whole.'
* The FBU has separate independent research, which shows
the cost of the FBU's pay demand would be 41p per
household, per week.
* The Cap Gemini Ernst & Young research is available
* The pay claim is for a£30,000 wage for wholetime
professional firefighters and emergency fire control
staff. Pay parity for professional firefighters
working the retained duty system and a new pay formula
to maintain these rates for the future.
* Currently, professional firefighters are paid£21,531
* Emergency fire control officers are paid 92% of this
* Professional retained firefighters are paid
substantially less than their wholetime colleagues
ie£6.20 per hour.
* Currently, firefighters pay is linked to a national
formula which was borne out of the only national
strike ever in the UK fire service, in 1977.