View Full Version : Fireman Strike is on...

You want it when?
12th Nov 2002, 14:12
Well I guess an 11% raise in pay over two years is pretty insulting after all. Oh hang on in the commerical world there's a pay freeze due to the economic climate.

Still what the Hey. Lets hold the UK to ransom for more money.

Don't get me wrong, they deserve to be paid more but I can't help but think that this is the wrong way to achieve it. Expect solidarity stikes from other whiners to follow.

Jezz wat a mess.

12th Nov 2002, 15:04
Initially, I had a certain amount of sympathy for the firefighters. Now, I have none whatsoever.

They have now become nothing more than money grabbing blackmailers. 11% insulting??? Feel free to visit the real world if ever you have the chance.

12th Nov 2002, 17:54
hmmm It's going to be fun getting into work over those days :(

Send Clowns
12th Nov 2002, 18:25
Wasn't there something about "we're doing it for the revolution" on the FBU website? If I remember correctly they seem to be risking other people's lives for the socialist cause, which is sick.

Departures Beckham
12th Nov 2002, 19:22
Although I appreciate the work of firefighters, the FBU is aware of the high risk to human life while their members are striking. I'd therefore like to see the FBU prosecuted for Murder/Corportate Manslaughter (maybe that's not the right law but you get my point); if and when someone dies whose life could have been saved if their members were not striking.

We give firefighters the opportunity to save lives, not take them.

uffington sb
12th Nov 2002, 19:27
They keep mentioning the 21k basic, but do they get any shift, inner/outer London, night allowance etc, if so, what's their gross pay. The 2 days 2 nights 4 off shift also allows them to have other jobs if they so want.
I think 11% is a fair amount considering and the squaddies taking over from them don't get anywhere near that amount, no overtime etc and the possibility of being shipped of to fight in the mid-east, living out off an ISO for months at a time in a hostile environment, in danger of being shot, bombed or mined.
Sympathy for firefighters - NO.

12th Nov 2002, 20:07
Sympathy? On your bike!

However, politically, this is a nightmare for Labour.

5 years in, and the unions want their payback. They never have and never will be interested in reform of the public services. In the governments credit, they want to put defilibrators on fire engines. Sensible? FBU says that will lead to the merger of the fire and ambulance services, and they're against it. :confused:

The government are already being squeezed by the public spending they have committed to: if they renege on it by paying people more rather than increasing beds, hospitals etc., they will lose the election. If they refuse to pay these large public sector wage increases, they face a winter of discontent.

Anyone for a role-playing game!?

12th Nov 2002, 20:15
From the FBU website, today:


The immediate aims of the Fire Brigades Union are to
serve its members by winning for them the best
possible conditions and to serve the community by
encouraging its members to be skilled at their craft.

The Fire Brigades Union recognises that workers,
however employed, can only improve their lot by
their own endeavours and organisation. A richer
and fuller life can be achieved only by similar means.

To this end the Fire Brigades Union is part of the
working-class movement and, linking with the
international trade union movement, has as its ultimate
aim the bringing about of the Socialist system of society

tony draper
12th Nov 2002, 20:17
Indeed, no doubt the completely independent ,Sir (I'm me own man, I dont listen to anybody guv) Baine report, will be in next new year honours list for his reward. :rolleyes:

12th Nov 2002, 20:26
In the present economic climate the pay rise they have been offered is more than generous.
They complain that many have to take second jobs to increase their salaries, but that only serves to highlight just how much time off they get.
There will, of course, be all sorts of emotive nonsense in the tabloid press until such time as the dispute is solved. There is all sorts of talk about how dangerous the job is and how firemen risk their lives every working day, but this is patent nonsense as there are many days when firemen are not called out during their shifts, or even if they are, it's to minor household fires or to free motorists from their crashed vehicles. Actual mortality rates per head are considerably higher in many other jobs, but of course they don't look as dangerous as those of firemen rushing off to a really big (and dangerous fire).
Let's also remember when bravery etc. is being talked about, that nobody is forced to do the job. They are all well aware of what they are getting into when they decide to become firemen. They are being paid considerably more than the poor squaddies who will have no option but to carry out the firemen's duties for considerably less pay in outdated fire engines which may well put the lives of the public more at risk. Of course, the FBU will come out with the usual claptrap about the government putting the lives of the public at risk - but it's not, it's the bullheaded firemen.
There is one way in which the government is putting the lives of the public more at risk however, (though it's probably being done so as not to inflame the situation further - no pun intended) and it's the refusal to use the perfectly good fire engines which it owns in the fire stations and forcing the squaddies to use their antique green goddesses. Maybe the troops don't have the training to use all the facilities on them, but they would be able to use most of them and that would give them considerably more effectiveness than using the verdigris antiques. The government should authorise the use of proper fire engines immediately - they are not owned by the firemen.
Whatever they do, the governmenty should not back down and send us spiralling back into the days of old Labour and the country being held to ransom and ruled by militant unions.

12th Nov 2002, 21:45
Wonder when we will hear Bob 'Stalin' Crowe calling for the train drivers not to work for 'safety' reasons. Therefore forcing people onto the much more dangerous roads.

Maggie was far too lenient on the unions.


:mad: :mad: :mad:

Anthony Carn
12th Nov 2002, 22:44
Firemen do a dangerous job. I do a dangerous job. Lots of people do dangerous jobs.

However, questions, please ( I don't know the answers ) :-

(1) -- Has a fireman ever been made redundant ?
(2) -- At what age does a fireman retire ?
(3) -- Is a fireman's pension ever going to be under threat of wind-up ?
(4) -- What is a fireman's pension per year of service ?
(5) -- Is a fireman's pension inflation-proofed ?

12th Nov 2002, 23:05
I was relieved to read the Pprune concensus - finally, it seemed, the nation was coming to its senses. I then surfed to BBC Talking Point. I can only hope Auntie's editors are hardline Marxists cos if the website's views are representative, Britain's had it.

I find it offensive for firefighters to say "if you call us out, ask yourself what we're worth". If my house is ablaze, I'll pay whatever you demand to save it, just as I'd hand my wallet to a gunman. Perhaps we should arm firefighters so they could demand money with menances before attending to a burning abode?

Another irk: Tabloid-regurgitators who compare firefighters' pay to politicians'. I'm not fond of Westminter types but I acknowledge there's a shortage of real talent. Factor in the demands of the job, risk of redundancy, time away from families and educational requirements (for most!), and the deal doesn't seem so attractive.

My salary's marginally above what the firefighters are asking. It took me 6 uncomfortable years to get here. Granted, I've never had the dubious pleasure of clearing up after an RTC or comforting bereaved relatives. However, I work in a high risk environment. The job security's poor, the satisfaction less. I'd love to be a firefighter or a pilot but the pay doesn't attract me. Yet there's no shortage of labour...

Sorry to say it, but if this is indicative of Britain 2002 then I'm glad I left.

12th Nov 2002, 23:12

The RMT union have already suggested to their members that if they feel endangered at work they should leave their post. This is obviously the new way around secondary industrial action.

Wonder if they will still use cars, buses, houses or are these exempt from catching fire?

13th Nov 2002, 09:07
I was discussing this with a friend last night. We both came to the opinion that the firefighters (or their union, however you looking at it) are holding us hostage. "Pay us (more) money, or people will die."

That is the behaviour of terrorists, not supposedly decent, hard-working people.

Select Zone Five
13th Nov 2002, 09:32
I assume that all the 'soon to be striking' firemen pay tax on the income from all the little odd jobs (window cleaning etc...) they do when not at the station?

I used to live next door to a fireman who was often disappearing with a well stocked van...I'm sure it was all declared, just wondered?

13th Nov 2002, 10:17
...worried about the ambulance and fire service merging? Who are they trying to kid?

The fire service has been trying, (although less of late), to take over the emergency side of the ambulance service, on and off for many years.

Many fire services carry medical kit, including defibs, cervical spine immobilisation equipment, oxygen, etc. Why the problem now?

13th Nov 2002, 10:59
Does anyone know what the pay of teachers, doctors, nurses, firemen, policemen and so on is now as compared with 30 years ago? Are they better or worse off in real terms?

If they are worse off, then they arguably do have a grievance - but does anyone know if they really are worse off?

13th Nov 2002, 11:09
We sat down and worked it our for RAF Flt Lts comparing pay now to 1945. Taking into accountcost of living, inflation and all the other economic changes then your avergae Flt Lt should be on around £90,000 - £100,000. Boy how things change!

13th Nov 2002, 12:38
crepello - re the bbc's marxist editorial policy on their website - I consistantly send my opinions to various 'Talking Points'.

The only time that I was published by was when I was critical of the Tory Party. Normally my views lean to the right of centre.

Read into that what you will...

13th Nov 2002, 15:23
Excellent article in the Times:

The spark of industrial action has to be snuffed out
Stephen Pollard

I doubt if there are many of us who would climb into a burning tower block for £80. How much money would it take for you to go in if you were standing outside a blaze? £1,000? £2,000? I wouldn’t go in for £10,000.

Even if the firemen were given the full 40 per cent increase that they are after, they’d still be paid only £80 a day. So whatever the rights and wrongs of a strike, one thing is clear: they risk their lives for a sum of money which does not even come close to representing the risk involved.

But it’s not that simple. It is neither possible nor desirable to determine pay by such criteria. The salaries paid to public servants are not, after all, an expression of our appreciation. If they were, the public coffers would long ago have been bankrupted by our gratitude to firemen, nurses and the police. In the real world, salaries represent something more pragmatic: a combination of the rate that ensures there is a sufficient supply of workers, and the amount that we can afford.

Take nurses. On almost any criteria, nurses are underpaid. On the most basic measure — recruitment — it is clear that nurses need to be paid more. The latest Department of Health figures show a shortage of 9,000 nurses — and that is a severe underestimate, as it only includes positions that have been vacant for more than three months. On the existing pay scales, we can neither recruit a sufficient number of new nurses for our needs, nor hang on to them once they are trained. We have more than enough trained nurses in the country; the problem is that too many no longer work as nurses, having left the profession because they are not paid enough.

The same, however, is simply not true for firemen. On that basic measure of recruitment, the situation is very different. We have all the firemen we need. Unlike nursing — and teaching — there is no recruitment crisis; quite the opposite. For every vacant fireman’s post, an average of 40 people apply.

Which is not surprising when you realise that, even on their existing pay of £21,000, firemen are in the top half of the pay league table of full-time workers. And that’s without including holiday and one of the most generous final salary pension schemes in the country. With the “two days and two nights on, four days off” rota, many firemen also do an additional job.

Of course they deserve more money. So too do care assistants. So too do teachers. So too do nurses. The list of workers who deserve more money is almost endless. But that’s not the point. What matters is whether we need to pay them more. The evidence is clear: it makes economic and political sense to pay nurses more; it makes no such sense to pay firemen more.

If the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) had more deft leadership, it might have found a way to secure something approaching its pay demand by offering to negotiate its antediluvian work practices. Instead, it has dug in and resisted any change. Its tactics, and the mindset of the FBU leader, Andy Gilchrist, are straight out of the 1970s. When the firemen last went out on strike, in 1977, the Labour Government caved in. The message sent out was clear: demand money with menace, and you’ll get it. It led directly to the Winter of Discontent.

For most of Tony Blair’s first term, the Government wanted nothing more than a big public sector dispute. It wanted to lance the boil, and show that this was a different sort of Labour Government. Indeed, the Prime Minister and Chancellor were so successful in putting across the message that they would not give in that no such strike materialised. They were thus denied the opportunity to lay to rest the ghost of 1978-79.

Labour’s appetite for a confrontation has now gone flat: neither the Prime Minister nor the Chancellor needs to prove his credentials any more. But they are now faced with a new wave of hard Left union leaders, of whom Mr Gilchrist is merely the outrider, who look back to the strikes of the 1970s as a crib sheet. Where Mr Gilchrist leads, Dave Prentis of Unison, Mark Serwotka of the PCS, Derek Simpson of Amicus, and the train unions follow.

When the Government launched its public spending bonanza two years ago, the union leaders’ collective heart skipped a beat at the thought of all that money for their members’ pockets. And that, quite rightly, has long been Messrs Blair and Brown’s main fear. Ministers know how easy it is for union leaders to make the case that their members are underpaid, just as Mr Gilchrist is now doing for the firemen. But if they give way to the firemen, the entire new Labour edifice will crash down like a house of cards as the rest of the unions take their cue. Labour will have ratcheted up public spending, increased taxes to pay for it, and got absolutely nothing in return. The words “modernisation” and “investment”, the key to Labour’s plans, will be so much hot air.

The firemen are thus a direct challenge to Mr Blair’s nostrum that “investment only works if it levers in change. Without the change, money is simply wasted on outdated practices.” To that extent, the firemen could not be a more apposite test case. Teachers and NHS workers, for instance, have — however reluctantly — accepted that pay increases have to be accompanied by reform. The FBU has, however, specifically ruled out any reform of existing working arrangements in return for extra money.

The firemen will get some more money. But the sort of money the FBU is demanding is not only economically untenable, it is politically impossible. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown built new Labour on the idea that the old Labour habits were gone. At this, the first real test, they cannot afford to give in.

Tartan Seagull
13th Nov 2002, 15:32
The current threat of strikes over pay are all down to the fact that when they went on strike last time around - 25 years ago - they were demanding that their pay be pegged to the highest paid manual workers. At the time that was the dock workers and miners. Well, we all know what happened to the dockers' and miners' unions, don't we, and with them their members' pay packets.

So, the firefighters have stayed pegged to what was once top-whack manual salaries and now, when they've not kept up with inflation, they're after a rise.

I understand, although I am not an expert, that Fire Engines are not owned by local authorities but are leased from private companies in a similar way many businesses lease cars. The contracts only allow for designated trained people to operate them, so the local council can't just say to Army "use these they are better than your green things".

tony draper
13th Nov 2002, 15:49
How long before we are back to private fire services the way they were two hundred years ago.
If you were a payed up member they stuck a plaque on your wall, no plaque and the brigade ignored your fire and your house burned down.
Now that would appeal to blur and his cronies, it promotes self relience and responsibility. ;)
Pardon my cynisism, but whats the betting he and his mates are sitting round the cabinet table praying for someone to be burned to death tonight.

Send Clowns
13th Nov 2002, 20:13

An excellent article, except for the second paragraph. They would be on £160 per day, not £80, albeit a long day. That said they are allowed to be in their beds or at leisure any time they are not working or training. I admit I have the same conditions, but I only get paid when I am required.

One thing they missed is the disgraceful behaviour of the main public-sector unions' leadership to their workers in denying them local pay bargaining. Of course the main reason for this is that they would lose most of their political power, devolved to the local organisation. However if they would allow the obvious then those working in the South East could be awarded the raises they need to put them closer to a level with their own colleagues working in areas where a house may be purchased for £100. They deny rights to their own workers for tehir own political ends.


Thanks, yes that's what I had seen. The first two paragraphs are very high-minded, then the nasty politics behind this strike become very clear in the third...

Select Zone Five
14th Nov 2002, 08:33
The first night of the Fireman strike and apparently there have been "hundreds" of hoax calls...! What on earth goes through these people's minds??!! :mad:

14th Nov 2002, 09:16
Maybe the distorted vision of a Marxist/Leninist utopia?

Anthony Carn
14th Nov 2002, 09:38
No fireman in memory has been made redundant (job for life)
A firemans pension is secure; It's paid for by the taxpayer.
A fireman retires at age 55.
A fireman's pension is inflation proof.

How much deferred salary is all of that worth, compared to the situation of a private sector worker ?

Vortex what...ouch!
14th Nov 2002, 10:29
I spoke to a few firemen yesterday and they have been led by the nose by Andy Gilchrist. They genuinely believed they were going to get 40%. They got quite rude when I nearly choked on my pint and started laughing.

They have blown their bolt by actually going on strike, now someone has to lose.

14th Nov 2002, 10:57
And now they've kicked out all the media from their rally/meeting in Edinburgh - including Sky News who were in the middle of a live interview, by placing a hand over their camera!!!

Apparently they're very upset at the majority negative reporting in this morning's papers.

Can anyone say petulant?

14th Nov 2002, 11:39
It's obvious that some of the firemen are feeling guilty about the consequences of their actions, because some of them left their picket line to help military personnel fighting the fire in Powys.
How could they possibly really have believed that the public would be behind them when their demands are so unrealistic, and why are they so head-in-the-sand about any changes to their archaic working practices? Probably because they've been led up the garden path by their old-Labour almost Marxist leader, Andy Gilchrist.
The only thing that does surprise me is the polls on Sky, the Beeb and AOL showing that around half the population do support them - maybe all the replies they're getting are from other public sector workers who hope they'll be able to strike for huge increases too if the government caves in to the firemen's demands.

14th Nov 2002, 12:28
No sympathy for firemen
Simon Jenkins, Evening Standard

You will not get any apologetic balance from me. Today's London firemen's strike is the most outrageous bid for money since the Fleet Street print disputes of the 1970s. The system is being milked of money, and the public of sympathy. I admire the firemen's gall and enterprise. They need no sympathy.

The real question in this dispute, to which Monday's Bain Report rightly drew attention, is why, if firemen are on "breadline wages", are 30 men queuing for every job? Why, unlike bus drivers or nurses or teachers, is there no firemen's shortage in London? Why does London not even recruit volunteer firemen like the rest of the country?

The answer is well-known within London's jobs culture. Since the demise of "the print" and the curbing of the Post Office sorting mafia, firefighting has become the dream London job. Since the shift pattern went to two days on and six days off (with two nights on call), it became effectively part-time. There was ample room for the shopkeeper, bookie, cab driver, builder or sports trainer, working in the informal economy.

At some stations, jobs are so valued as to be reserved for sons and nephews. There is no room for blacks or women. The FBU members cheerled for Ken Livingstone during his mayoral campaign. He has thanked them by staying silent throughout the present dispute. Can we imagine a mayor of New York siding with strikers denying his city emergency cover?

Though the pay is not great, these shifts give a qualified fireman in London £21,000 and a senior fireman £31,000. They qualify for retirement on full pay after 30 years. Any objective look into this service, including by Sir George Bain this week, has concluded that the remuneration is not unreasonable.

Sir George said the only justification for an aboveaverage pay rise would be a root-and-branch cutting of restrictive practices. No way, says the FBU.

The London fire brigade is a historical gem. For much of the last century admission was confined to ex-sailors, including fire officers. Fire stations were run like ships, kept sparkling clean, fiercely loyal and resistant to change.

London was still using hand pumps 50 years after the rest of Britain was using steam. When steam was introduced, the firemen slashed the hoses.

The Fire Brigades Union demand for 40 per cent in the face of the Bain Report may seem outrageous. But money is not really the issue. The issue is reform. Were the present shift system to go, 40 per cent is probably fair compensation and cheap at the price, especially if other Spanish practices go too.

A classic is the archaic requirement that a fire station, like a ship, must have the same watch manning at night as during the day or that two engines must go to every call. There are few calls at night, and few firemen are in the station. But the night shift is money.

The London Fire Service is unmanaged. All such "service" ends in tears. Like the Royal Parks Police, the fire brigade is one of those corners of London still a world apart. Its equipment used to be out of date, now just its management. It resists such reforms as flexible rostering, volunteer membership and a unified emergency call-out service.

No one, from the London County Council, to the GLC, to central government, to the Mayor, has had the guts to face it down.

I attach no "blame" to the firemen. Blame lies with those who are supposed to manage them. Any union will exploit such a situation, as have hospital consultants over the years. Industrial relations soon part company with reality and vanish into selfrighteousness.

A workforce has nothing to lose by militancy, since the service they are milking is often no longer their chief source of income.

A new realism is now struggling to tackle the "sickie" culture of the Metropolitan Police and of other branches of the public sector. But the battle is uphill. Bob Crow's Tube workers have shown that militancy pays.

Last year's Tube strikes ended in capitulation by London Underground after a preelection call from a terrified Downing Street. This call sent an excited tremor through every London trade union. Tony Blair was an intervener. He would give in if pushed. The fire strike is the result.

The firemen's leader, Andy Gilchrist, is a friend of Mr Crow and his rail colleague Mick Rix. They are not fools. They have tough members working in close-knit groups with complex incomes. These incomes are rooted not in basic pay but in evolved conditions of service. Mr Gilchrist's militant London members have the most coveted skilled manual jobs in the capital. They want no messing about.

The FBU claims: "We have been left no alternative ... breadline wages ... Government putting public at risk

... legitimate pay claim." This is all negotiating talk. In the past, the firemen have kept quiet because they knew that their conditions of service were worth more than any pay rate. Now there is reform in the air and they are on guard.

They want 40 per cent because that is what they stand to lose. Sir George Bain has offered them a generous deal but with strings, strings that would cost many firemen a fortune. They have preferred to gamble on a strike.

I would not bank on them losing. The management side in this dispute comprises their employer, laughably Mr Livingstone, the local authorities negotiating team, the "fire minister" Nick Raynsford and the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott. That broth has too many cooks. Worse, Downing Street's emergency unit is involved, which has never knowingly beaten a powerful lobby. Messrs Gilchrist, Crow and Rix have never known defeat.

I fear for the outcome of this dispute. My advice to every parent is, forget Eton. Put your son down for the London Fire Brigade.


Find this story at http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/2045836?version=1
©2002 Associated New Media

Just an other number
14th Nov 2002, 13:53
Think very carefully about this:
Who is making the hoax calls?

14th Nov 2002, 14:32
At my local station this morning, I was just hoping for someone to to point out that the brazier on the picket line was a fire hazard: so I did it myself. Wot larks eh! Seriously though, I don't think Gilchrist is a member of any Labour, old or new, as is the case with Bob Crow and several others.

14th Nov 2002, 15:45
The Times - Nov 14:

Part-timers claim intimidation has already begun

ALLEGATIONS of intimidation of part-time colleagues were being made even before the firefighters’ strike began.

The Retained Firefighters Union (RFU), which represents many of the part-time or retained firefighters, said that its members across the country were facing blackmail and threats.

A spokesman said last night: “Unfortunately, there will be a lot of nastiness before this dispute is resolved.”

Its members in Berkshire, West Yorkshire and on the Isle of Wight have reported threats against their wives and children, some in anonymous notes or telephone calls, others in face-to-face encounters with officials of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

Members in South Wales have been sent anonymous copies of a poem entitled The Scab, by Jack London, which describes a strike-breaker as “a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul” who has “sold his birthright, country, his wife, his children and his fellow men”.

Regional FBU officials deny responsibility for the hate mail, despite the RFU’s insistence that the letters had been franked at the FBU’s office in Cardiff.

According to RFU officials in Norfolk and Wales, firefighters serving part-time in the hope of eventually being offered a full-time job have been told that they will not be recruited if they work during the dispute. “This begs the question: who is running the fire service in this country, the brigades, or the FBU?” a spokesman said................

Send Clowns
14th Nov 2002, 17:57
Steam Chicken

One of my colleagues was attached to the Royal Marines when the 1977 strike broke out. While operating green godesses in Glasgow they would put out the strikers' braziers every time they passed to the amusement of the police watching over the picket. Apparently extremely difficult to relight!

14th Nov 2002, 20:06
My tuppence.

At first I thought that the difference between the Green Goddess and the modern fire appliances represented the way that the firemans role has changed and how they have become multi-skilled and are equipped to deal with a range of responsibilities apart from from pouring water on fires. A pay rise could be justified, but perhaps 40% was a bit of a mickey take even for an openner....

And then (yesterday) I realised that the Army (who could be considered as amateur firemen, as opposed to specialists) after a few days of practice with vastly inferior equipment and a fraction of the man power are coping well with the situation, including the hoax calls. And that sqauddies are paid, for the most part, less than the firemen. For those of us that spent time in the forces, we are only too well aware of the number of servicemen who left to join the fire/prison/police services, but how many came the other way? The Army are paid less than the firemen.

My sympathy has rather evaporated for the firemen. And if I was to ask my company for 40% I wouldn't even be laughed at. No. They are p^55ing uip their brass poles. Sorry chaps. Your credibility hass gone up in smoke. :mad:

14th Nov 2002, 20:36
Haven't read the whole thread so as usual if I am repeating apologies.

Agree Firestorm, my sympathy too for the FBU evaporated as I tried to make my way home across London on the Tube tonight. The fact that Underground staff are jumping on the bandwagon on the bogus pretext that their safety is being put at risk stinks. The tube strikes earlier this year were in protest of pay that is already over 30K basic for tube drivers!!! It was all about stinking Union politics and nothing to do with the drivers.

I had some sympathy with the FBU cause until tonight.

What about the safety of the passengers, packed onto sh*tty tube trains like sardines? I really knew then that if something happened on that tube train I was dead. A response from a Green Goddess would have taken an eternity, the London Fire Brigade are very well trained to deal with Underground fires but if one had happened then I would have been toast long before the Firemen had a chance to break the picket line and attend.

I just heard Andy Gilchrist addressing the Belfast FBU saying that if the government had offered 25% to start with (which is apparently their best offer yet) then the strike would not be going on now. So why have the FBU not accepted the 25% in return for the new working practices?

Sorry guys, you are putting lives at risk (including mine) and it's time to go back to work.

As I tried to get off the train at London Bridge, a man who sounded German or similar trying to get on the train said "It's worse than in Africa!". This is the state of our supposedely 1st world nation in 2002.

14th Nov 2002, 21:47
Do a Ronald Reagon on them

14th Nov 2002, 23:10
They complain that many have to take second jobs to increase their salaries, but that only serves to highlight just how much time off they get.

To the best of my knowledge they get the same amount of time off as most other people, no more, no less, however they are able to use their time off creatively as they work a fixed shift pattern.
The government want to change this fixed pattern to a supposedly more efficient flexible rostering system i.e they want to reduce manning levels overnight. If this plan comes to fruition lets hope we are not involved in a major terrorist incident, car or aircraft crash, or major fire at night time.

15th Nov 2002, 00:42
Anyone have any stats on when fires occur most...dayshift, afternoon shift or midnights?

24 tube stations closed?

Bally Heck
15th Nov 2002, 01:33
The altruism which the fire fighters are playing on just now, like "Who is rushing into that flaming building when everyone else is running out" For twenty odd grand a year.

And the altruism of people like the RNLI (unpaid, frequently killed in the line of duty)

The Army, Navy and Airforce. (Paid less and frequently killed for Queen and country, Oh.....and for rushing into flaming buildings now.)

Medicin san frontiers. (Lets go to a war zone and save lives risking our own)

Come on guys. We all respect what you do. It's a difficult dangerous job. But not that difficult and dangerous.

Learn the difference between politics and reality.

15th Nov 2002, 09:34
Although I do not support the firefighters strike, I am angry at the BBC for headlining the news each day with a story about how many people died in fires during the last 24 hours. This is misleading - how many would have died if the regular fire service were in attendance ? Probably the same number.

The BBC is as much a Labour mouthpiece as CNN is a White House or CIA channel.

El Grifo
15th Nov 2002, 10:31
I love the way the media are focusing on Firemens' 40%
Wages Demand.

In reality, we are takling about an increase from six quid odds to eight quid odds.

I cannot belieive that the Firemen are being asked to work for such a measly pittance.

Lets here it from the flygods. How much do you earn an hour.

I will start the honesty ball rolling. I snap pictures with no greater risk than getting cramp in my little finger.

Average hourly take:- £30.00- £35.00

Also, does any one know how much in monetary terms the 40% hike that tony the phony received recently, amounted to.

15th Nov 2002, 10:47
From the FBU website

Tony Blair took a 40% pay rise last year, boosting his pay by over £50,000 to £163,000 per year

15th Nov 2002, 11:05
Just worked mine out and it's a measly GBP 6.32 per hour.

Not a flying job but IT.

Don't think there's any danger of me getting a 40% rise any time soon do you ?

15th Nov 2002, 11:49
Six quid an hour over a forty hour week is only £11,250 per year.

Me thinks the FBU' s maths are suspect.

Send Clowns
15th Nov 2002, 12:12
The fire brigade may work 40-hour per week, but half that is on night standby, when they can sleep or rest, read or watch television during their duty time. Yes they may be called out, but they are unlikely to spend all or even the majority of that time on call.

El Grifo

How can you compare a false statement of a public-sector worker with a private sector pilot? The firemen are paid during training, most pilots pay a fortune for their own training and living costs for that time, with no guarantee of a job at the end. The firemen have a job for life, they don't work in one of the most volatile industries around. They get an excellent pension, payable age 55. Most pilots hop jobs for the first part of their career, many never achieve a stable job in a large airline, so pensions are harder to establish.

Some estimates suggest that given changes in working conditions a 40% pay rise is possible. This would lead to redundancies though, and those left having to give up the second jobs. This would be unnacceptible to the unions, as would local pay bargaining which is the reasonable response to high cost of living in the South East.

15th Nov 2002, 12:42
The job for life is a real benefit that many public sector workers don't appreciate.

I know, being (nearly) married to one - the spectre of unemployment just does not enter into her thinking.

I speak as a person under serious threat of redundancy myself for the second time in my life.

And given the biting recession in the Financial sector, IT and aviation, I'm not likely to find a new one quickly.

Having spent all my savings and built up (relatively) big loans to get my commercial licence (which at this time seems as useful as a chocolate fireguard), I'm not in the best position to weather any storm, either.

15th Nov 2002, 12:43
I get paid the equivalent of GBP 6.94 per hour (AUS$19.5) as a nurse.... lucky I like what I do coz it's obviously not for the monetary reward! :)


15th Nov 2002, 13:08

So your salary must be around £14,500, right ?

The hourly rate for a salary of £21,000 (Firefighter salary) is :

21,000 divided by 52 weeks = £403.84 a week

£403.84 divided by 40 hours (normal working week) =

£10 an hour

I am a radio planning engineer working for one of the UK mobile phone operators, job requires a degree or 4 years relevant experience in the industry. I served for 12 years in the Army. I'm now on a salary of £26,700 per annum. I'm not complaining, it's not a bad income at all....but it's taken some hard work to get here. I was to be made redundant last Christmas, but managed to secure a new position starting in a different part of the country. Kept my job, but had to move.

The firefighters are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land if they think they're going to get the 40% pay increase. I'm seriously pi$$ed off with them at the moment....do they really think their jobs are any more dangerous or worthy than those of us who used to patrol the streets of West Belfast, and who got paid a hell of a lot less than £21k ? The same rules that apply to the Armed Services which bans the right to strike should apply to all Emergency Services...if you don't like the money - get another job you losers !

These guys are dishonouring their good name, a name which is rapidly becoming associated with greed rather than bravery.

Rant over.

Grim Reaper 14
15th Nov 2002, 13:27
Just how many threads are we going to have about this strike anyway?!

I say pay them the 25% that they (indirectly) say they'd settle for, introduce an element of London weighting, and get all the idiots who even dare to bring up their shift patterns sent off to the local Ivory Tower ward.

Whinge, whinge, night shifts spent asleep and watching the telly. So what? Why should they be running around wide awake at 0300hrs just to keep you happy. They work hard enough when the work is there.

Don't work everyday, whinge bloody whinge. They do a 48 hour week which spans 9 days, including days off. Most people out there do a 37 or 40 hour week across 7 days, including days off. Where's the big difference? You're not streets apart and they are doing 30 of their 48 hours at unsociable times, so GET OFF IT.

They're worth more money, and for whatever historical reason have fallen behind average wages, as have teachers, nurses, civil servants (except TB), etc. Forget the 40% figure, it's about what they should be paid, what they deserve and what we feel about our own personal security when they're not around.

I think it's disgraceful that they have been reduced to strike action to get more pay. I think the fact that some of them are strike breaking to help out with the more serious incidents speaks volumes.

The Army can't do the job, however willing and well intentioned they are. They also need to prioritise a bit better. The fact that they're being deployed to extinguish burning cars on wasteland is not efficient use of resources.

I'm not in a position to get public sympathy if I strike, they are, and they have mine.

15th Nov 2002, 13:51

You forgot to factor in annual leave and lieu days for bank holidays. That could easily bring the number of weeks worked down to 46, and therefore give a higher hourly rate.

Grim Reaper

Forget the 40% figure, it's about what they should be paid, what they deserve

So why don't they agree to the conclusions of the independent Bain report on Firemen's pay and conditions, then? Professor Bain has a reputation for fairness and is known as one of the country's most eminent industrial arbitrators. He is definitely not a government crony.

The firemen already have a pay formula that links them to the pay of those manual workers who were the most highly-paid when they last went on strike. It is the fault of their own union leadership that they did not open negotiations to reform this years ago when they first started slipping behind. But, as the Standard says, the reason that the union leadership never did this was because they didn't want to risk having their restrictive and incredibly generous and lucrative conditions of service reformed.

Those same union leaders have now backed themselves into a corner by making silly pay claims, and this strike is the result. Those same union leaders have walked away from the negotiating table when there are already offers on the table that are well over the rate of inflation, just because the raise will come tied to the same sorts of reform that the rest of the public sector is undergoing.

Ordinary firemen are now ending up out of pocket, and lives are being lost because of this.

So the firemen get their 40%. That sends a message to all public sector workers that the government and country can be held to ransom and huge pay rises are the order of the day. So they all strike, and get 40%. Ah, but someone has to pay for this, and that's... you've guessed it... ordinary joe public through taxes. Do you want to pay 4% more income tax (which is what is requried to cover a 40% public sector pay rise)? Do you want to pay much more on your mortgage when interest rates leap to damp down the inflation it would cause? And just what will it mean for those of us who don't have jobs for life when the already-weak economy slides into recession due to high interest rates?

Once again it's union 'socialist' fairness in the Animal Farm sense - 'everyone is equal, but our members are more equal than others' :mad: :mad: :mad:

As for Blair's much-vaunted 40% pay rise, that is FBU smoke-and-mirrors, it only came about because prior to last year he opted not to draw the full pay that was due to him as PM, as did Margaret Thatcher before him.

15th Nov 2002, 14:32
All you enemies of the proletariat will soon be singing a different song, because heavy duty ammunition is on the way from Australia to support the worthy firemen.

Yes, folks, those fanatical lifelong supporters of union principles, Tool Time Two and his bum buddy Amos are at this very moment winging their way to England to lend support on the picket lines, because they know that sticking up for union solidarity is worth more than a job or a lifestyle. They were converted in 1989 and have devoted their lives since then to fighting injustice wherever it happens.

Go boys, go! Do it for the gipper!

*sob, sniff*... I love these guys ...............

15th Nov 2002, 15:10
Andy Grimthing keeps going on about how sorry he is that highly trained professionals like his members have to be on strike. Professionals!!!! - they are skilled manual workers. If there really are 40 applicants for every fireman's job out there, let's get on with training them up and get rid of these people who are holding the country to ransom.
Let's also get on with introducing regional pay bargaining for allowances (as a separate factor from the basic pay) so that those firemen who live in very expensive areas like London and the southeast get an additional allowance to enable them to afford decent housing in these areas.
I just saw on the news, that Avon council will not allow the military to use their red fire engines even if the government does decide to allow troops to cross picket lines - and this despite the fact that many of the striking firemen (but not Andy Piffling) have said that they would not try to stop the military from using their red fire engines.
I hope all those who support the firemen and look forward to them winning their dispute with the full 40% pay rise also look forward to the increases in their income tax and council tax which will be necessary to fund the increase.

16th Nov 2002, 02:10
Andy Grimthing keeps going on about how sorry he is that highly trained professionals like his members have to be on strike. Professionals!!!! - they are skilled manual workers

I suppose your definition of professional involves wearing a shirt and tie and having a degree in management studies. Or have I totally missed your point?

Those who can, do. Those who can't, manage.;)

16th Nov 2002, 02:32
Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

profession an occupation especially one that requires specialist academic and practical training e.g. medicine, law, teaching, engineering etc.

Thus someone with a degree in management studies could be described as a professional, but only if his employment requires the specialised application of that knowledge. If he were eg, a milkman with a degree in management studies, he would not be described as a professional (even if he wore a shirt and tie whilst carrying out his milk round).

Shirts and ties are merely forms of dress, which may or may not have something to do with one's occupation, but nothing to do with being a professional.

I do not wear a tie (though I do wear a shirt - colour unimportant), I do have both academic and practical training and I am not a manager. My doctor also never wears a tie, though he is, undoubtedly, a professional. So yes, I think you've missed my point and I still contend that firemen are skilled manual workers - this having nothing to do with their mode of dress (and indeed, some of them may well have degrees in management studies!).

Jet II
16th Nov 2002, 09:23
Just thought that everyone should see this letter from todays Telegraph - although it says more about the state of the NHS than the Fire Service

Fire service solution
Date: 16 November 2002

Sir - Why can't we have a national fire service run on the lines of the NHS? Green Goddess fire appliances (generic, cheap and cost-effective) could be stationed in each town, manned by idealistic public sector workers willing to work long hours for low pay, together with firemen recruited from abroad who speak only basic English and are trained in entirely different methods.

These crews would usually need to be supplemented by firemen supplied at considerable expense by private agencies, to make sure that each appliance at least looks as if it has a minimal crew aboard it when called out, even though agency firemen would not be expected to know the area, the rest of the crew, where anything was in the fire station, or how that particular model of fire engine worked.

The national fire service would operate on a strictly limited overall budget, set by central government but allocated locally by local primary fire trusts consisting of committees of full-time firemen attending meetings in their spare time, retired accountants, local politicians and lay people.

Their main function would be to explain to people whose houses had burnt down why they had been unable to allocate more of the budget to that particular aspect of the service because of the pressure on them to reach the target set for rescuing stranded cats from trees.

Naturally, a large number of skilled line managers, executive officers, senior executive officers, liaison officers, quality control consultants and media relations officers would be needed to convince us all that the national fire service was working better each year and was the envy of the world.

Alongside the national fire service, insurance companies could be encouraged to provide alternative private sector fire cover. They would take over all the fancy, expensive state-of-the-art fire engines and equipment and provide an additional service to those who were prepared to pay large premiums.

Privately insured people would enjoy such advantages as choice of colour of fire engine to be sent, whether to have foam or water sprayed on the flames, and free tea, coffee and a biscuit while waiting for the fire to be put out.

Dr Roger Peberdy, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire

I had to laugh at the bit about the privately insured having a choice of colour on the fire engine - a nice sky-blue today I think!

Elwood Senese
16th Nov 2002, 15:12
What a wonderful missive.

16th Nov 2002, 21:47
profession an occupation especially one that requires specialist academic and practical training

Ah! but as most firebobbies have an NVQ in firefighting and cat rescue studies, and they apply their specialist knowledge at work I think professional is a term that could be used to describe their vocation.
Perhaps they should be renamed anti-combustion engineers.:confused:

16th Nov 2002, 22:13

Why do so many people here (El Griffo and NoSurrender accepted) have such a problem with workers, skilled, proffesionals or otherwise requesting a decent wage? For the firefighters, striking is the last resort to not being negotiated with. Back people into a corner and they will be forced to react. The gorvernment refuse to negotiate with them. That is the issue!
Most people who post seem to have an issue with their pay. The fact that you aren't paid enough is not the fault of the firefighters. Many services should be paid more. Medical, Firefighters, Teachers, Public Transport, Binmen etc. Not all of these people are able to vote themselves a payrise each year as MP's are.
It costs a lot to live in this country. It's about time people were allowed to be able to afford to.
Up the workers!

Alty Meter
17th Nov 2002, 00:08
Why do so many people here (El Griffo and NoSurrender accepted) have such a problem with workers, skilled, proffesionals or otherwise requesting a decent wage?

They don't. They have a problem with them making unreasonable demands and refusing to wait for the outcome of an independent report into their wages.

For the firefighters, striking is the last resort to not being negotiated with?
There were negotiations and they were offered an increase just not the ridiculous 40% they wanted.

Back people into a corner and they will be forced to react?
True. That's why lots of people are turning against them. People don't like being held to ransom where loss of life is concerned.

The gorvernment refuse to negotiate with them. That is the issue!
Don't you read the papers? The government has made a fair offer, they just won't give into unreasonable demands.

Are they so badly paid? They don't earn much less than lots of pilots flying for charter airlines. And helicopter pilots?
Firemen are skilled manual workers. Their image got a boost in that soap London's Burning, and I suspect there's more than a touch of trying to cash in on the admiration for the NYC firefighters pictured going into the Twin Towers.

Of course most people would like to be paid more. But most people now make more reasonable demands, and negotiate instead of striking like they did in what you and the FBU leader obviously think were the good ol' days.

17th Nov 2002, 00:55
Spot on Alty. Want straight onto 30k after 17 weeks training do they?

Most pilots have invested upwards of 40k in their training, and earn less than 30k at the outset of their careers.

How much have the firefighters invested in their training???

Most university graduates, after 5 YEARS hard graft and incurring a shedload of debt, start on LESS than 20k.

As for other skilled manual workers i.e.; mechanics, plumbers, sparks and so on.....after a 4 YEARS time serve period, are they on 30k??

Our gentlemen with the big red engines need to wake up and smell the coffee. Someone in that union has seen or heard somewhere that professional pay is about 30k, and that rumour has spread like wildfire and got them to where they are today.

When you take into account their refusal to give up their almost part time working hours, refusal to take paramedic training (as is compulsory for American Firefighters), and the sheer stability and pension perks they already recieve......their demands equate to poor bloody greed.

I know a PPL student, a newly qualified G.P., and he does not earn 30k as a baby doctor.

30k for a 48 hour week as a manual worker???

Dream on guys.

17th Nov 2002, 02:42
Why do so many people here (El Griffo and NoSurrender accepted) have such a problem with workers, skilled, proffesionals or otherwise requesting a decent wage?

30k for a 48 hour week as a manual worker???

There you go...

Some peoples perception of fire fighters is that they aren't proffesionals, they are manual workers.

Having undertaken annual fire fighting trainning, yet being a skilled manual worker myself, i'd like to reassure everyone that your lives and lively hoods are being protected by time served (albeit on the job) knowlageable proffesionals who are willing to put their lives at risk to save yours, even if it is your own foolishness that has caused your predicament.

It's not unreasonable to ask for adequate renumeration for performing this job (sorry if this angle has been looked at already) but I doubt there is little coincidence that this fairly recent demand coincides with the continuing increase in house prices.

There are of course many other public sector jobs that are underpaid but that really isn't an adequate arguement to hold back one particular area. IMHO we should support the people who fight for an increase then, when they get it, be prepared to support the other sectors when they make a stand for theirs.

Just because a government gets a first class service for buttons (in many sectors) at the moment, doesn't mean they can rely on it. They need to wake up and smell the coffee, at some point people will demand their pound of flesh and the governmet should have the foresight to budget for it.

The Claw
17th Nov 2002, 09:06
proffesionals who are willing to put their lives at risk to save yours, even if it is your own foolishness that has caused your predicament.

When it suits them that is, when we are living under the very real threat of a terrorist attack is not the time to strike. If the armed forces did this it would be viewed as treason. The manner in which they attempt to undermine the crews of the Green Goddesses is very unproffesional. The fact is that the crews of the Green Goddesses are making it work with what they have.

Times are hard for all of us, should they get their wish others will end up unemployed. Will the firemen feed these families I wonder?:(

Alty Meter
17th Nov 2002, 10:07
Skilled manual workers. ie Above manual workers, below professions.
eg Bricky/carpenter/plumber is skilled manual work, but it's not a profession.

17th Nov 2002, 10:40

There are of course many other public sector jobs that are underpaid but that really isn't an adequate arguement to hold back one particular area. IMHO we should support the people who fight for an increase then, when they get it, be prepared to support the other sectors when they make a stand for theirs.

And who is going to pay for this?

Why is it that public sector workers seem to think that they have a right to take more money from all of us, the taxpayers, just to line their own pockets. My word to them is just don't forget who pays your wages.

In the private sector, salaries adjust in a market to reflect the difficulty in finding the right people to fill a particular job. Why should this not be so for the public sector? With 30 applicants for every post in what is not a particularly high-skill occupation, there's no shortage of potential firefighters. Therefore with this strike the firemen are just trying to claim that they're a special case.

Well, I'm a special case also. Try and prove that I'm not. But my private sector employer which has me under threat of redundancy and is winding down my colleagues' pensions, thinks differently, because it also has to respond to its own set of (currently poor) market conditions. If it didn't a lot more people than just me and the 10% of other employees that it is shedding would lose their jobs.

Some public sector workers need to wake up to the real world. You have your job for life and your protected pensions on massively favourable terms. You often have conditions of service of which I would but dream. And then on the back of the worst economic outlook for years, you have the gall to try to mug every tax payer in the country for more money.

There are a few acutely underpaid jobs in the public sector IMHO - teachers and nurses spring to mind. But in general public sector pay is fair ie. it reflects the difficulty in getting an adequately-skilled person to fill the job.

17th Nov 2002, 13:03
I’ve been watching this thread with interest, being a nurse………… So the Fire Services are hard done by for what they do huh??
Bless their big red engines!

This is how it is in the real world of healthcare……….


20.45 Handover from Late Shift…………interrupted by staff on the ward to say aggressive patient wont stay in his bed – so wander out to attend to him and resume Handover

Co-Ordinate the shift - Assess workload and decide who’s doing what and allocate……..ring Admin to say i'm one nurse short of the establishment – tough! We have to manage, no-one available.

Go and see poorly patients and relatives that are staying the night and answer queries re. treatment.

Catheterise new patient and replace catheter for another patient

Chase up Doctor that has been too busy to come to the ward to see poorly patients.

Start Drug Round – dispense medications to 25 patients, interrupted 5 times by telephone enquiries

Draw up and give Intravenous medications, take blood sugar measurements on Diabetic patients, give nebulisers to 5 patients with chest infections
Connect and start NasoGastric feed as per regime –

Replace NasoGastric Tube that patient has pulled out, arrange X-Ray

Attend to Dr’s queries
Discuss with Doc that it’s not appropriate to give new patient sedation as he had prescribed due to patient awaiting CT Scan of brain and needs neurological observations during the night.

Perform ECG on new patient
Arrange and commence a Blood Transfusion – 15 minute observations for 1st hour followed by 30 minute obs for second hour

Grab cup of coffee at 00.30hrs

Discover that pt having Blood Transfusion is re-acting, stop Transfusion and counsel her.

Deal with 3 aggressive patients – get punched in the face twice by one of them!
Spend a lot of the night assisting other members of staff trying to keep patient in his bed.

2 hrly neurological Observations on new patient throughout the night
1 hrly Blood sugar measurements on new patient throughout the night

Called back from break after 30 mins due to cardiac arrest – assist Anaesthetist,Doctor and rest of Crash Team with Resuscitation

Ring next of Kin and inform of death of patient
Re-stock and check Crash Trolley when it’s all over.

Feel like crap cos we couldn’t save the patient.
Forget rest of break!

Attend to other patients as necessary during the shift, turn poorly ones 2 hourly, move beds around, sit 2 of the confused, aggressive patients at the desk with the staff for their own safety and for comfort and rest of other patients

Do paperwork following death and get staff to wash the body etc.
Arrange removal of body to mortuary.
Ring A&E to arrange admission of new patient.
Admit new patient and deal with relatives that are in attendance.
Do the paperwork for the admission
Update the computer
Do written reports

Start to draw up and give Intravenous injections and give nebulisers

Do Temp, Blood Pressures for all 25 patients do a bedbath get punched in the chest by the patient as he is confused and I was caught unawares.

07.30 Handover shift to Day Staff

08.00 Go off Duty – on time, for a change.

This is a typical shift pattern, wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

And the renumeration for this - £19,000 p.a from the NHS for an experienced 'senior' Staff Nurse in charge of an acute medical ward.

Would we go on strike and leave patients who are sick and dying.............morally and professionally we have a duty to care - AND it really wouldn't enter our heads to take this sort of action.

What about the firefighters..............morally and professionally dont they have a 'duty' to provide service???

40%............ROFL BRING IT ON :D :D


Money Grabber
17th Nov 2002, 15:36
I shall leave the witty and sarcastic comments to you Nurse.

I soon as i saw the post was coming from a nurse i could have almost written it for you.

I started a thread elsewhere with the hope of putting to bed some of the myths and basic untrue statements contained in the 5 pages here.

The other thread i began got four replies, two of which contained some really clever comments.

The truth of the fact as far as i am concerend is people believe what they want to believe. I do feel its sad that so many people jump on a propaganda bandwagon without questioning even the simplest of facts. And some of the gripes on this thread are so wide of the mark even on the simplest facts.

I dont think the Fire Service in the UK are the only people to strike for a better wage, indeed the good folks of the industry this site is set up for are not exactly averse to industrial action.

BTW nurse, I have lost count the number of times I've marched in demonstrations to improve the lot of Nurses. Selective memory syndrome, is that what its called.

Finally good people, in a free moment go back over some of the threads on this site, take an honest view of the complaints and gripes, some of the totally single minded views would make me cringe. See if it does you.

17th Nov 2002, 15:59
Nurse 5th, god bless you and your kind. Words do not express the respect i have for those in your proffesion, and as an ex-serviceman who greatly needed your skills in the past, i say thanks.

Money Grabber; you keep patronising those of us on this thread with your comments, and have twice now you have claimed to be about to set us all straight with the "truth", and not "propoganda bandwagon" opinions you claim we have all "jumped on". (yes, i read your other thread when first published. I, like others I suspect, didn't feel it worthy of dignifying with an answer)

So please sir, either finally enlighten us poor misguided fools as promised, or just be a good chap and ride your big engine off into the ether.

As we say in the trade, its put up or shut up time.

So lets have it.

17th Nov 2002, 16:11
Skilled manual workers. ie Above manual workers, below professions.
eg Bricky/carpenter/plumber is skilled manual work, but it's not a profession.

And why was pilot ommited from the above list of jobs?

17th Nov 2002, 16:31
And your point is? :confused:

17th Nov 2002, 16:33
Nurse5th: if the patient is being such a trouble, can't you just evict them and stuff them - if you are ill and want treatment you can behave (obv. different if mental case patient).. else handcuff 'em. I guess there's some European rule and the nanny statre hand wringers would protest.

17th Nov 2002, 16:50
The Sunday Times:

........Playing for public support, Gilchrist has portrayed his members as selfless heroes, rather in the manner of “New York’s finest”, the firefighters who received such emotional support for their work during the September 11 attacks last year on America.

They have fallen behind in the pay stakes, he claims, and deserve an increase far beyond inflation. But there are some interesting comparisons to be made here. New York firefighters, for example, have recently accepted a 10% rise, putting their starting salaries at £22,800 — some £7,000 less than the £30,000 target of the FBU.

The pay of British firefighters has also kept pace with general wage inflation. When they last went on strike 25 years ago the average pay was £3,700 a year. If that had risen in line with the rise in average earnings it would now equate to £22,500 — a sum close to actual earnings.

What has changed is the firefighters’ level of pay compared with other services such as the police. The police have earned bigger pay awards for accepting more flexible working conditions. The firemen refuse to abandon their old working practices.

“The legislative basis upon which the fire service is established dates from 1947,” said Professor Sir George Bain, who was asked to examine the firefighters’ claim for a pay rise. “Society and the requirements it places on a modern service have changed enormously since them. The fire service as an institution has not changed in turn.” ......

As the FBU men manned their pickets but not their engines last week, 60 miles away in the village of Halstead, Essex, a different type of firefighter was still on duty. Robert Cameron, a retained fire officer, earns £14,000 from his main job as a self- employed gardener and just £5,000 as a “part-time” firefighter — even though he is available for duty for more hours a week than Dudeney.........

17th Nov 2002, 19:03
Nurse 5th,
Good post, well said.

Money Grabber,
You've now started a thread in which you said nothing, just started blubbering like some big girl's blouse when you found people don't say what you want them to. Now you come on to this thread and start criticising Nurse 5th because she's also a public sector worker and doesn't want to agree with you.
I started a thread elsewhere with the hope of putting to bed some of the myths and basic untrue statements contained in the 5 pages here.
So far you've not given us any facts to show that anything said in these five pages is either myth or basically untrue, so what do you expect? If you genuinely have some facts which refute what is published here, go ahead and print them and stop complaining.

I dont think the Fire Service in the UK are the only people to strike for a better wage, indeed the good folks of the industry this site is set up for are not exactly averse to industrial action.
Indeed they're not. The firemen have a good case for a pay rise, but definitely not for 40% and not without reform of their archaic working practices. If they'd ditch their insistence on national allowances, some of those living in more expensive parts of the country may be able to negotiate for higher local allowances to help with higher property prices. Of course, 'Andy' would hate for that to happen because he'd lose some of his power.

Your continued lack of any facts to attempt to change anyone's opinion speak of either a lack of them, or a lack of commitment to what you originally started either in your other thread or in your posting here. Maybe you're the only one with a closed mind?

Send Clowns
18th Nov 2002, 22:02
Money Grabber's comments here and on his own thread simply suggest that he is an FBU member, and has chosen his name well.

Money Grabber

Before you compare the firefighters to pilots and other genuine professionals in the aviation industry think of the respective conditions. How many firemen have been made redundant in the last 15 years? How many pay for more than a year's training? How many pay £60 000 for that training? How many are left after training with no job, scraping by working a bar, or teaching others their skills (a rather more dangerous occupation statistically than firefighting, I believe) at around the £10,000 per annum mark?

Also how many of them suffer the hardship, the time away from family, the danger, pain and injury of a soldier, sailor or airman? Yet the firemen earn so much more than these people. We know on whom we can truly rely when everything counts, who the real heros are. HM Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army and HM Royal Air Force.

Firemen heros? They do a useful job. 10% of the role is to fight fires. They work on fire prevention and on motor accident response. Indeed I was cut out be them only last year, but I would have escaped the car with no further hurt and only the aid of bolt cutters had tehy been unavailable.

Firefighters do a great job, for which they receive fairly decent remuneration on excellent conditions. They are no paragons of virtue.

19th Nov 2002, 01:58
In reply to Heliport

I guess the point of my post was to suggest that there is some snobbery being displayed about what is or is not a profession.
I would suggest that the dictionary definition of the word implies that firefighters are professional as they apply both academic learning and practical skills to various situations.
What level of acedemic training and practical skills need to be applied for a job to be a profession? What practical skills do lawyers have? How can they be classed as professional?

And as for the need of some to dream up a league table of jobs based upon some undisclosed criteria...

Skilled manual workers. ie Above manual workers, below professions.

19th Nov 2002, 05:51
It was the FBU who started the 'league table' issue you mention by constantly claiming that firemen were professionals and ought to be paid as professionals not as skilled manual workers. Their wages were linked to those of skilled manual workers when the last dispute was settled. The FBU wishes to change that.
Your lawyers example is a poor one. Not only are Law, Medicine and the Church amongst the oldest 'professions', after prostitution allegedly, but you are also confusing practical skills with manual skills. Lawyers, doctors and the clergy all use practical skills.
I've no doubt firemen have to do courses and pass exams just like people going into many other jobs, but 'academic learning' involves a little more than that.

19th Nov 2002, 17:45
Sell off the fire stations
Says The Financial Times

HERE is a modest proposal for Britain’s fire service. Sell off the fire stations.

The future of the grand red-brick edifices now adorning our town centres lies in their conversion to upmarket loft apartments for the upwardly mobile.

Where Victorian and Edwardian splendour has already given way to the stained concrete of the 1960s, the stations should simply be levelled. Teachers, nurses and ambulance crews need affordable housing.

The strikes by the Fire Brigades Union must be soundly defeated. But that should be only the start. The fire service must be transformed into one that reflects the realities and risks of the present century.

For Tony Blair’s government, the politics of the dispute are simple: Stand firm or abandon hope of winning the argument that public services can be efficient as well as expensive.

Andy Gilchrist, FBU leader and the strike’s author, evokes in the most liberal among us a certain yearning for Margaret Thatcher. Mr Gilchrist will get his just reward when honest firefighters realise he has led them into a fight they do not deserve to win.

There is more at stake than one trade unionist’s arrogant disregard for people’s lives.

Common sense, fairness and the future of the rest of the public sector all demand the same outcome.

The dispute is no longer one about pay — even the FBU is beginning to seem embarrassed by the greedy absurdity of its claim for a 40 per cent increase. The union now says it will take a mere 16 per cent as a first-year downpayment.

Tell that to nurses and teachers.

Mr Gilchrist, though, has made a fatal mistake. By calling a strike he has exposed the inner workings of the fire service to the public gaze. His members may be heroes — and there is no sarcasm intended here — but their working practices are reminiscent of the worst of the Fleet Street print unions in the 1970s.

Demarcation lines are carved in stone. Firefighters are banned from being trained in the use of resuscitation and other life-saving equipment.

They risk their own lives by pulling people from burning buildings but are not allowed to help those victims to breathe.

Then there are the notorious shift patterns. Two days and two nights spent at the fire station.

Much has been said about firefighters moonlighting in second and third jobs. This puts the position the wrong way round. The truth is decorators and mini-cab drivers are moonlighting as firefighters.

Add the generous holidays, pension and job security, and more than £20,000 a year does not seem quite so miserly.

As the interim report of Sir George Bain’s inquiry has pointed out, the firefighters are not any longer really firefighters. Only between five and ten per cent of the incidents they attend involve turning a hose on a fire.

The overwhelming majority of calls are to road crashes, chemical spillages and the like.

The fire stations, built in an era when we all burned coal and factories sprawled across the inner cities, are in the wrong places. A service redesigned would see firefighters based at motorway service stations and industrial estates on the edge of towns.

They would be trained for every emergency and we would not call them firefighters.

What about the glamour of fire engines thundering along the high street, the heroic self-image of firefighters in their September 11 T-shirts?

Well, the truth is, the spell has been broken. And if firefighters want someone to blame, look no further than Mr Gilchrist.

19th Nov 2002, 19:27
I wrote a long post in support of TT5thA and a rather sharp reply to MG, unfortuantely AOL decided that it wasn't appropiate to post and booted me off....

In short, as I can't be bothered to reply to the likes of MG, TT5thAs shift seems rather quiet(!) by nursing standards, having dated a few and having 2 as 'in laws'. The majority of fire fighters need to get real and join the rest of the undervalued and underpaid public service workers.

As a paramedic of over 13 years service I got a 3.4% pay rise this year to bring my gross to £22063 for a 42 hr week, with 12 hr shifts. Out of the 12 hrs on duty I actually spend about 80%actually on patient care. I m too tired to pursue another job to top up my wages but my house is just as expensive as MG's.

If you don'tl ike it get out - thats why I m trying desperately to find a flying job.... there's plenty to take yours/my place.

Money Grabber
19th Nov 2002, 22:11
Watch Commander 20 years service.
Dayshift 1 = 8am to 6 pm
Dayshift 2 = 8am to 6 pm
Nightshift 1 = 6pm to 8am
Nightshift 2 = 6pm to 8am
(5 days on 3 days off)

OIC of two Rescue Pumps, 1 Road Rescue Unit
16 Firefighters on my watch.
EMT qualified.
11% of salary to pension contribution.

You want it when?
19th Nov 2002, 22:27
Doesn't seem that bad of a deal. I presume the cost of housing in Scotland is cheaper? Does Mrs Money Grabber work? I like the pension contribution. Not surprising that people are clamouring to get in.

Easy life.

Money Grabber
19th Nov 2002, 22:37
When you compare what we are paid with others, my rank is akin to a police inspector then its not that great. The 40% or £8.50ph was shooting for the stars.
Mrs MG does work and yes it is less expensive up here for property.
The area that the station in work in has just about every risk thats out there, so the responsiblity I have is quite high, I however should say I love it and wouldnt change it for a minute.

19th Nov 2002, 23:00
Senior Staff Nurse – 23 years service

In charge of Acute Medical Ward – EVERY SHIFT

Accountable for care of 25 patients – HUGE RESPONSIBILITY

Extra Roles undertaken :-



Administration of Intravenous Medication

Male Catheterisation

Advanced Life Support

Courses – too numerous to mention!!!! And continuously ongoing

Monthly Salary--------------------------- £1625

NHS Pension Scheme Contributions-- £97.50

Tax ----------------------------------------£232.43

National Insurance -----------------------£104.33

Monthly Take Home Pay----------------£1190.74

That’s LESS than £10 an hour!

Oh............ and there's NO Mr Takenthe5th to supplement my income!

Money Grabber
19th Nov 2002, 23:07
My response with my salary etc was to the paramedic.

You keep producing these lists nurse. Is that not what nurses are supposed to do.

What do you expect me to reply with ??

19th Nov 2002, 23:14
No, the extended roles as mentioned above are not part of 'what nurse's are supposed to do' they are extensions to the nurse's role.

You are actually supposed to be out fighting fires and the like - not bleating about pay - again it's already been said, put up and shut up - or get out!

You may hear the nursing profession complaining, but you will not see us walk out - we have professional AND moral values to uphold and will do so.

It's already been said..............you have lost all credibility with the general public and I think it's a shame.

20th Nov 2002, 01:39
Mr Money Grabber, allow me to illustrate why i treat your strike with contempt.

My best friends son is an engineer on a british nuclear submarine, whos second job on board is that of fireman.

He is qualified to look after both shut down and flashed up nuclear plant. You think you are "professionals"? You should see what this kiddy can put on his c.v.

At sea, he works 6 hours 0n, 6 hours 0ff. Sleep patterns? Circadian rythums? Pah!! This is the ROYAL NAVY!

Continuous, for months at a time. No "nights", no "weekends", you only know the time by which meal you are about to eat.

Dangerous, dangerous work, away from his family for months, with no form of contact with them at all when on a "sneaky"

Alongside, in a maintenence period, due to the Navy being woefully short staffed, he works the following. You'll love this, it's just like the Firemans working hours (NOT)

Starts 8am Monday, finishes 4pm TUESDAY, with about a 3 hour sleep grabbed overnight. Thats WORKS, doing continuous maintenence, not just being onboard. Real spanner in hand stuff.

Repeat this 32hour shift pattern, continuously, for 10 days, when he will then recieve 3 days off.

Its a hot (40 degrees),horrible, stressfull, manual job that also requires some serious brainpower. It has driven many men to breakdown, and continues to do so. Navy hushes that one up though, not good for recruitment; thats another issue however.

His wage? £20, 500 per annum.

So take your hard done by bleats, your unwillingness to modernise, your second job culture, your unwillingness to learn paramedic skills, the lovely fact you'll never know redundancy, your enviable pension structure, in fact all that your (by it's own website's admission) HEAVILY left wing union has issued over the last few weeks,


You think your hard done by?? Him, every nurse and paramedic, every policeman with his stab proof body armour, and every guy working in a factory for £5.50 per hour in good old Britain who could equally do you job if he was so trained, may beg to show you otherwise.

I wish you personally no harm sir, but i wish you and your colleagues would put a foot in the real world, and have a good look around.

20th Nov 2002, 09:40
So Money Grabber, what you're saying is that the Fire Service should have equivalent pay to the police?

OK, I'm happy with that, once the FBU accept the level of reform that the police have undergone in the last few years, remove their overtime ban and also agree to a no-strike agreement like the police.

Then I'd be happy with the Firemen being paid the same as police.

What do you say about these proposals?

Money Grabber
20th Nov 2002, 14:41
1) I never said I wanted parity to the Police pay, what i said was compared to MY rank and that of an Inspector it wasnt great. I fully realise that the difference in conditions from ours and the police and many others does make up the difference in salary.

2) Unwillingness to learn Paramedic skills?. An ongoing programme of training started about 4 years ago to train all firefighting crews to EMT ( Emergency Medical Technician ) . The largest objection for this training to be stopped was from the Ambulance service, despite advice from several trauma specialists stating the FS can provide a more prompt response, and with the current structure of the FS an Immediate response. Remember the UK Fire Service is still the only Immediate response emergency service.

3) Nursey, Listing qualifications may be your thing, The FS works within the Fire Services act, ie Firefighting and giving of advice for Fire safety. We as you are probably aware, undertake almost every task asked of us, like yourself most qualifications are vocational, I dont quite know why you continue with the lists and the verbal volleys. Sit down and take a big breath... feeling better.
Re. Nurses never taking action, I wouldnt be so quick to shout, the word is your Representative bodies are paying particular attention to whats going on in London as we speak.

20th Nov 2002, 15:43
MG - and I thought that you had lost interest in attacking nurses and started on the paramedics instead - guess not. Incidently find it incredibly rude that you seem unable to address people by their by 'name' - guess that's how you talk to 'your men' though...

Well lets see...

I don't have a shift pattern due to the nature of my additional skills requiring extreme flexability,but this is what I am working this week and next:

Sat 1000/2200
Sun/Mon OFF
Tues 1000/2200,(but actually took a day in lieu to further my training - at my expense).
Wed 1000/2200
Thur/Fri OFF
Sat 0600/1800
Sun/Mon 0700/1900
Tue/Wed/Thurs OFF,(but 1st set of more than 2 days off together in 6 weeks - shame Ms PW is on duty for 2 of them).
Fri/Sat/Sun 1900/0700
Tues 0800/2000.
Plus enforced end of shift overtime and recall to duty.

13.5 years service, over 10 as a paramedic.

Total training = 20 weeks initially and about a total of 30 more refresher training weeks. Plus unpaid study, maintainance of professional profile and evidence of continued learning. Oh and continual assesment, spot checks, etc

I am trained as a single responder, an advanced driver, airport trained, free range airside driver, highline/cliff rescue trained, police civil disturbance trained, paramedic, mentor/supervisor, etc. (I am also trained in the use of breathing apparatus - but not allowed to use it due to Fire service politics).

I am responsible for supervising from 1 to ??? number of people at an incident - we don't have the luxury or need to have an officer to tell us how to do our job at every incident. Oh nearly forgot any incident involving a patient I have the overall responsibility for scene management despite what some fire officers seem to think.

Only emergency service with a primary response? Our Cat A calls have to be responsed to with a crew on scene within 8 minutes of the call being made - not a primary response? Also few if any ambulance services still rely on part time on call staff to cover their emergencies.

We also don't have beds, (no time to use them anyway), no bars, no gyms or sports facilities, few kitchen facilities. Many of our bases are now no more than spare rooms in fire or police stations with no garages. Our luxuries run to tv and videos paid for by staff welfare funds.

What is an EMT then? As far a I know not a reconised qualification in the UK...

Also unless you use paramedical skills they deteriorate very quickly. Don't forget the total of 12 weeks theory training before you are let lose on a patient.... Besides I thought you were so busy when are you going to get time to answer ambulance calls? When I left our control room about 2 hours ago we had answered 160 odd emergency calls since midnight - I wonder how many Surrey Fire and Rescue have answered?

All for £22063.00 pa GROSS. And we are one of if not the highest paid service in the country. Some paramedics up the country earn around £17000 pa - quite a lot less than a fireman?

PS. Due our dispute in 1989 we NEVER EVER WITHDREW OUR 999 COVER to the public.....

20th Nov 2002, 16:51
Money Grabber,

So what exactly are you saying then, it seems like you're just having a go at all and sundry, especially the nurses and paramedics contributing to this discussion.

So you wouldn't be happy with Police pay and conditions? Are you saying you want better pay and conditions than the police, and if so justify this, or are happy to settle for lower pay? Where does 40% fit into all this?

Money Grabber
20th Nov 2002, 18:29
I think you should check again paramedic, EMT is most definately recognised in this country.

It must be a different service to that in Scotland, coz there are plenty of ambulance officers up here. And my good man, At an Rta police have overall command of the situation, Paramedic assess the casualty situation and in conjuction with FS decide the priority for extrication.
Fires we have overall control and paramedics are allowed onto the fireground when I/we decide its safe.

Glad to say the paramedics from our local area show massive amounts of common sense and we have a superb working relationship with them, and for that matter the nurses and medical staff on surgical teams. From what you say, you would fall into the category 'My Badge is Bigger than yours' I'm really glad I work in Scotland.

20th Nov 2002, 18:40
I'm really glad I work in Scotland.

1) Not while striking, you don't
2) For the first time in my life I actually feel glad I don't live in Scotland. Nothing against scotland, you understand, it's really rather nice.

20th Nov 2002, 19:01
Hmmmm, Money Grabber, Have you taken the hint yet. The vast majority of the contributors to this discussion seem to be saying f**k the greedy b******s.
I think the army will do a fine job rescuing the cats and getting stuck people out of lifts and 'your lots' reputaion has gone clean out of the window.
There used to be a time when I would look upon the fire engine racing to the scene with respect and misguidedly thought they were doing the job out of pride and because they loved the job, how wrong I was.
I am sick of seeing f*****g articles in the paper about how the poor fireman can't afford the kids christmas presents on £22,000 a year and how there poor wives have to work to make ends meet.....my heart bleeds for you.

It's simple....get another job and let someone else take your place.


20th Nov 2002, 20:05
Well you started it Mr Water Fairy!

We have plenty of officers here too, thanks but ambulance staff have the ability to work alone and unsupervised - able to think for ourselves see. In fact thats half the fire services' problem - its top heavy with officers = less money for the ranks?

Still don't know where you are coming from on the EMT thing? BAEMT or whatever they are called now maybe? If so they are not reconised by any ambulance service I know of. The only qualification that most ambulance services will now reconise for employment is the State Registered Paramedic. Not that it matters as no fireman I have spoken has any wish to learn paramedic skills - not that you have actually said what you are capable of as an EMT....

Guess it must be different up that way cos I as the paramedic get the final say on the casualty handling/removal, assement and priortisation, (actually called triage but not sure if you speak French that far North! :D ), not you, not your divisional officer nor your Chief Fire Officer if he's there. As for the fire ground maybe you do but I wasn't talking about fires was I? Still I can recall situation, one I was personally involved in where ambulance crews have safely removed/rescued people from fires prior to your arrival. My own episode I managed to search the ground floor of the building in smoke and remove the casualty - just as I had been taught during my BA training, unfortuantely the fire service was nearly 15 minutes behind us... your wondeful PR person didn't even mention us when the local paper reported how you searched the building with heakseeking cameras and rescued the man who is now recovering in hospital... Maybe I was silly to go in but I made a reasoned weel considered decision and probably saved that mans life - one of many I have actually saved ie resucitated from dead and now living. The polices' responsiblity is for control of traffic, protection of the scene and evidence and the safety of the public, not that it really matters as no police officer would even dream of questioning the paramedics decision or actions - they know there is no need.

I have a lot of respect for our local fire fighters and thought that they had a lot of common sense too - changed my mind on the last bit recently though....

Besides I don't wear a badge, don't need to - I know my skill level and abilities as do those people I work with. I mean you lot even have different coloured helmets with different patterns on so you know which one is yours! :D

Similarly I am talking as a paramedic but lets not forget the ambulance technicians who make up over 50% of the a + e ambulance staff who earn around £1500 - 2000 less than a parmedic but with the same conditions, just a little less training and responsibilty.

If you want to see professional firefighters I suggest you spend sometime with the BAA airport fires service - the difference is unbelievable!

And finally, Poor Scotland! Soon may the likes of you retire!

PS I forgot we have to work till we are 65 years old too. Not that you ll see many retired ambulance staff as few make it due to the high incident of enforced dismall due to injuries sustained on duty.:(

Send Clowns
20th Nov 2002, 21:22

You seem not only a little petulant (not unexpected considering the actions you and your colleagues are going through) but to be rather selective with the points you answer. I ask directly:

* Why do you think you deserve 40% more than you were willing to work for before? If pay's so bad why are you still a firefighter?
* Why are firemen a special case?
* Why should you not accept local pay bargaining?
* Why should you not accepted changes to your shift pattern?
* Why should you get more than a sailor who is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, when every sailor in the RN regularly trains for firefighting duties, the only vaguely heroic thing you are likely to be asked to do, in addition to his or her normal duties. The danger of working in the RN is much greater than in the fire service, the conditions harsher.
* Why are there 40 people wanting each job, and jobs passed on in the family they are so popular?

Money Grabber
20th Nov 2002, 21:32
The BAA fire service, trained by our very own fine staff at the Scottish Fire Service Training College. (Do me a favour and read the reports into the British Airtours B737 incident at Manchester)

Your petty insults by the way only make you go up in estimation, a real mans man, or should that be Blowhard.

Anyway my greensuited friend, you be an ambulance man and I'll be a firefighter.

Nite Nite

20th Nov 2002, 21:39
Yawn. grow up MG.

Money Grabber
20th Nov 2002, 22:35
I hope this answers your questions.

* Why do you think you deserve 40% more than you were willing to work for before? If pay's so bad why are you still a firefighter?

The 40% was a conclusion of a report drawn up by an Independent body, that was the figure they suggested was appropriate for a firefighter today. The 16% which was muted by the employers in july was the target figure almost all would have accepted, that figure was first discussed by the employers not the FBU. Why am i still a firefighter ? coz its the best job in the world. ( others might disagree however.

* Why are firemen a special case?

I never have nor will I ever say the FS is a special case.

* Why should you not accept local pay bargaining?
The employers arent overly keen on local pay bargaining, the areas around where I work is made up of what they call Unitary Authorities each putting into the kitty for the FS, the fear being that if one area manages to negotiate a large settlement they will be forking out more than other areas. Also the bigger the brigade the better bargaining position ie London and say Wiltshire. London being in a much better position to lay down the law as it were.

* Why should you not accept changes to your shift pattern?

Ahh the million dollar question. To be honest I cant answer for the FBU reps, but like most people they like what they have and you want to keep it. ( if someone said to you would you like to work 7 nights for eight hours or 2 for 14 hours what would you take.....honest answer)

* Why should you get more than a sailor who is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, when every sailor in the RN regularly trains for firefighting duties, the only vaguely heroic thing you are likely to be asked to do, in addition to his or her normal duties. The danger of working in the RN is much greater than in the fire service, the conditions harsher.

Describe heroic. My colleagues nor I see ourselves as heroes or heroic, we do the job we are trained for to the best of our ability, as to why the sailor gets less than me I cant answer that. If you want my opinion he should be paid a damn site more. As I'm on the subject so should nurses, cops and paramedic, Air force and Army

* Why are there 40 people wanting each job, and jobs passed on in the family they are so popular?

Second bit first, jobs passed via the family is a new one on me, the recruitment for Fire Brigades in Scotland anyway is handled by non-uniform support staff ( civilians, but thats there proper title), to eliminate any old pals act or interference from those in a position to have an affect.
The figures show that 40 apply for each job, a large brigade in scotland had 13000 applicants a number of years ago, 4000 of which couldnt fill in the application form properly, after that and onto the physical part of the tests, some were afraid of heights, some claustraphobic, afraid of the dark, enclosed spaces, could not work with Breathing apparatus and lastly some could not work as a member of a team. So yes the figures on display say 40 for each job, but experience suggests that the figure suitable for recruitment is way way short of that.

20th Nov 2002, 22:52
Water Fanny sorry Fairy...

Strange I think you'll find BAA train their own staff - think one place used is LGW and ?? somewhere in Scotland.... They even made a document about it a couple of years ago, screened recently on Sky - most of the staff in the film are still at LGW.

Also my Big Booted friend I m still in the nice Military style blue and white.:p

I know I am a thick paramedic but:

8 x 7 = 56, 14 x 2 = 28, thought you worked 48 hours? Do you not have to work days too? :confused:

If the job is so great why not stop complaining about how hard done by you think you are and get on with what you are adequately paid for?

By the way you already earn nearly £4k more than your basic collegues - how much do you think you are worth?

Still waiting to know what your paramedical skills consist of...

Not sure where the insult was either... :confused:

Money Grabber
20th Nov 2002, 23:37
Ok Mr Ambulance Driver,

I'll keep this simple.
Somewhere in SCOTLAND that would be the Scottish Fire Service Training College, where members of the BAA fire service attend for training.

I earn more for being the Boss. The rank structure we have rewards you financially for the responsibility you take on.

Never anywhere nor at any time did i say i deserve more, what i did say earlier, when another poster said it wasnt to bad I agreed but pointed out if you consider the other services it doesnt tally rank for rank ( I admit it yes i knew what the conditions were when i joined).

Here is another startler for you. We were balloted on the pay claim, I voted yes in order that the RB's have a bargaining position, very few believe that 40% was winnable, but you dont go and ask for 1% and if the employers say yes, you say well ok but can we have 2% etc etc.

I will be honest I dont think I'm at all badly off, good conditions etc. The options I gave myself were the FS or the cops, the FS was what i wanted to do and enjoy doing it, if it didnt work out i would have tried the cops.

Finally we have traded insults like the big boys do......how about an end to the hostilities. ( coz i get the impression your taller than me and dont want a punch up the hooter)

:p :p

El Grifo
20th Nov 2002, 23:44
A little perspective here laddies.

My daughter just started he first job in London. She is twenty three years old, she works in an office and she earns 17k per year.

She has no one to support, she shares a flat with 2 others.

By the time she pays for her rent, her electricity, her food, and her tube fares, she has barely enough to live on, let alone anything to save.

I just sent her a hundred quid for a winter coat.

How in hells name can you expect a man with a family to support, to do so on a measley 22k per year. I couldn't

How many of you lot could !!

20th Nov 2002, 23:54
"How in hells name can you expect a man with a family to support, to do so on a measley 22k per year. I couldn't

How many of you lot could !!"

Well the average wage is somewhere in the low 20k range, so something like half the working population has to.

21st Nov 2002, 00:00
Still avoiding the skill question then?

Wouldn't lower myself to brawling with you - I have my professional standards to maintain. As a state registered paramedic ANYTHING I do off duty could cost me my registration and therefore my job, I am obligied to inform the registration people of ANY criminal / civil proceedings - even a speeding fine.

Your are lucky - you earn considerably more than our station officers. We don't get the luxury of getting paid more for responsibilty - it's included in the job description and basic pay.

As I said I don't recall insulting you nor deriding your work - just the quantity of it. You were rude and insulting to many posters on this thread.

Still I m bored with you now so b*gger off and play with your hosepipe.

Sorry everyone but I let this nasty little man get to me. Perhaps if we all ignore him - he hasn't anything to tell us anyway - would make a good politician - never gives a straight answer - he might just go away.
:rolleyes: :rolleyes


My take home is about £1300 pm, my out goings before petrol, food, credit cards bills, (they keep me going), is about £1100!

Money Grabber
21st Nov 2002, 00:08
Did I really get to you ? did I did I.

:p :D :) :p :D :)

My work here is done............swooshhhhhhhhhhh

21st Nov 2002, 00:21
Congratulations MG, I think you've managed to antagonise and alienate 90% of the people who might have had any sympathy for your cause. What a fine job you've done in gaining support for you're union, your profession and your claim.

Perhaps you should keep quiet, I don't think the union can survive much more of your "help".

21st Nov 2002, 00:27
Yeah self rightous, ignorant, ill informed, rude, arrogant people like you wind me up. Unfortunately I m not perfect - shame you think you are! Keep telling youself the same lies and eventually you'll believe them....

Your last post really sums you up doesn't it? Guess the fireman's lot isn't such an exciting one if you get SO excited believing you have wound me up. :p

Off to watch my collection of Trumpton videos so I can see what real firemen do! Pugh, Pugh, Barney.....


PS Still no answer to my question? More bull**** about how wonderful you are?

PPS Have you read the thread on Trumpton Tantrums on the mil forum? Think you should annoy another profession's bulletin board if you want support!

PPPS Wonder if you really are a fireman? Or does the Gov strike again?:

21st Nov 2002, 04:16
Yikes. I take time out from the site for a while and it appears war has broken out.

Back to the bunker captain.

21st Nov 2002, 09:22
El Grifo

It makes no difference to an employer whether an employee is a single person sharing a flat with 8 others to save money or has a family of eight kids and two divorced wives to support.

Wages (unions notwithstanding) reflect the difficulty of attracting the right skills from the labour market to fill the post, not the social, personal and family situation of the employee. And with a huge number of applicants to Fireman's jobs, there clearly is no shortage of suitably-qualified people for jobs.

We stopped treating public sector employment as a pseudo welfare state in the eighties, thankfully, look where those misguided 'principles' got the economy and country last time.

21st Nov 2002, 09:52
Perhaps MG could expand on the educational requirements of the fire brigade recruitment process.

As far as I am aware there are none.

Maybe this explains why firemen aren't keen to leave for a better paid job. ie it's not possible because most of them are about as bright as three in the morning...


:D :D :D

21st Nov 2002, 11:09
Come one, they're professionals.......:D :D

Anthony Carn
21st Nov 2002, 11:42

We stopped treating public sector employment as a pseudo welfare state in the eighties

Strongly disagree; I know enough people in the public sector ! The overall, lifetime package is safe, secure and inflation proof.

21st Nov 2002, 12:24
topical :D

Ron Plugs Away

Big Ron is still not firing on all cylinders, though we hear of a sprightly turn on Monday night's Premiership. On Goal Rush Saturday, the best the unseasonably orange guffsmith could manage was a stylish assessment of the attacking options available to Graham Taylor...

"He's got more strikers than the fire brigade!"

21st Nov 2002, 16:42
The FBU have been rather quiet today....... Isn't 16% good enough?

21st Nov 2002, 17:31
Apparently not....

The FBU says it has only been offered 4% and rest linked to modernisation.

STRIKE to go ahead from 0900hrs Friday. :( :mad:

Send Clowns
21st Nov 2002, 17:51

So you cannot justify 40%. You just liked the figure when an "independent body" came up with it in a report. You of course don't know the brief for the report. You seem not to know the justification for the figure. Then you are willing to risk other peoples' lives for this? You admit you love your job and do not wish to give it up even at your current pay. That suggests your current pay is sufficient. If not, leave and you can be replaced without problem.

A 40% pay claim can only be given to a special case. If everyone got that then the economy would collapse and we'd all be destitute. I assume that is not what you want (maybe it is) therefore you did argue that the fire service is a special case.

Local pay bargaining has been rejected out of hand by your union when tentatively mentioned at the start of the dispute. It would even out standards of living, increasing pay for those that do need it without the cost/inflation of paying everyone at higher rates. The employers would not suffer, in fact many would save money (and often a small organisation can bargain better, due to fewer considerations) - the people who would lose out are the top ranks of the FBU. Remember that as they use you in their political manouevring.

You want to keep your shift pattern, doing the same work as you have done so far, but you want to be paid 40% more for it. Yes, we'd all like that, but do you not see it is absurdly unrealistic? If shift patterns were streamlined I would fully support pay rises to the level of money saved by redundancies. Do more work, receive more pay. Funny that, it's how the rest of the world functions.

I know your opinion is that you should be paid "a damn sight more". But you have not justified that in comparrison to other skilled manual workers or government employees in highly specialised jobs. You just make the demand in isolation, as a basic desire. As said before, we'd all like more, but the rest of us would not threaten people's lives to obtain it. Different circumstances would name that robbery, or demanding money with menaces.

The family jobs came I admit from the media, but it was from what is acknowledged by academics in the field to be the paper with the highest accuracy of stories (bizarrely enough the Sun). It related to London Fire Brigade. I accept this as unproven.

However the figure of 40 applicants per place is simply a proof that you are not underpaid. It is irrelevant how many are capable of dioing the job, many wish too. In fact the number acceptible still works out at around 2 per place. Considering the armed forces, schools and hospitals cannot fill vacancies, I think you are not underpaid.

If you want to know what the soldiers who you rely on to cover you while you winge (http://www.thesun.co.uk/picture/0,,2002540281,00.jpg) about being underpaid on £21 thousand, soldiers earning maybe £11,500, think of you ...

And a few more for you:

* How many firefighters have been made redundant in the last 15 years?
* How many fire services have gone into administration, meaning those redundant only get statutary goverment redundancy money?
* What are the conditions of your pension that you are able draw aged 55?
* How long can you go sick for before being relieved of your job?
* How much holiday entitlement do you have, in addition to 4 days every 8?
* How often does your shift pattern change with no notice?
* How often are you sent away from your family on business?
* How do you think your conditions and benefits compare with most private-sector workers?

21st Nov 2002, 18:55
To all the people who are obviously so unhappy with their own pay and conditions at work.

May I suggest that instead of criticising a group of people for trying to improve their circumstances, you redirect all this energy and pent up hatred you seem to be filled with into improving your own.

In attacking the FBU you may have chosen the wrong enemy.

Or is it easier to attack them rather than stand up and do something?

21st Nov 2002, 19:25

MG has said he is happy with his job and pay yet he still feels justified in striking and putting the UK public, (firefighters and their families included),at risk of DEATH.

I love my job and the pay is OK, but I still have the same problems with cost of living, etc as a firefighter, as do police officers, nurses, etc....

I have a problem with the politics though and have got myself in debt and worked many many hours of overtime to finance my flying with the intention/hope of changing jobs. Unfortuately I have reached the stage where I can't fly as the job just does pay enough anymore..

The FBU are either telling lies or at the least bending the truth to justify their claims. I and just about every other NHS employee would be grateful for being offered a payrise worth nearly £4000, even if it did mean changing working practises.

21st Nov 2002, 19:49
Great Idea, Why don't the whole country down tools for a 40% pay rise?
You really gave this a lot of thought didn't you?
I am going in work tomorrow and telling my boss that I am not doing a stroke of work until he increases my pay by 40%. It will be the case of "There's the door, close it on the way out".
I am on crap wages but I like my job, that means a lot to me, I could earn a lot more working elsewhere (fireman perhaps) but choose to stay where I am, doing a job I enjoy, and live within my means.


P.S. Good job Mrs 28th is loaded or I would be bolloxed. :D

Send Clowns
21st Nov 2002, 20:09

Have you completely missed the point? We are mostly content with our pay and conditions. Otherwise we would leave for another job with better pay and conditions. However those conditions are not so much better than those of fire fighters, even though in many cases here people have paid a couple of years wages for their own training. Therefore why should the fire brigade receive a pay increase from our taxes? Why should we pay for them to get a far better deal than we could achieve by any means?

Any increase in my pay would be at students' expense, and they cannot afford more. Just like any increase in public sector pay is at our expense. You cannot separate payment from the person paying, nor from its effect on the whole economy. If I and my colleagues demanded a lot more money our company would go out of business and I would lose my job - the fire service is unlikely to do that.

I certainly would never threaten my student's lives to get more pay, nor would I demand an increase of 37% above the rate of inflation.


One more point - what do you think of the political aim of the FBU to bring about a socialist state? This is rather beyond the scope of a trades union, unrepresentative of the people in that state is it not?

21st Nov 2002, 20:24
I believe the pay rise they are looking for will give them an hourly rate of a whopping £8.50. Sounds a little low for a professional job to me, never mind one where your life is at risk.

The firefighters have certainly got my support.

Send Clowns
21st Nov 2002, 20:41

If you bother to read either this thread or the newspapers then you would realise that is £8.50 take home pay, a little different from the usual measures. You would also realise that for much of the time they are sleeping, eating or playing pool for this money. If they agreed to change their shift patterns to reduce this wasted time they have been told they will get more money.

Please note that if I wished for guaranteed pension rights similar to a firefighters I would be paying somewhere around 15% of my gross salary in contributions to my private pension. This puts my deductions up close to the 50% mark. £17 per hour for playing pool sounds a fantastic deal. If I weren't scared of heights I'd go for it.

21st Nov 2002, 21:09
I said they were worth their money SC, not that I was interested in your financial details or phobias.

21st Nov 2002, 21:56
I said they were worth their money SC

But are they worth 40% more? What makes them so special?

What I don't follow, is if the FBU( and others ) cause enough problems people might lose patience with Labour. Fine with me, but surely if they want a socalist state, Labour is closer to that the Tories?

22nd Nov 2002, 00:38
The poor old firefighters are taking a pounding on here now by certain individuals.
If they feel they are worth their pay claim good luck to them, the likening them with nurses,paramedics and coppers is fine and good but i cant remember the last time i saw any of these people running into a burning building or doing whatever the firemen do at chemical spills etc.

I have the utmost respect for all the essential services all of which seem overworked and underpaid. If the firemen get the rise good luck to them.

They have my support, as would the nurses, paramedics and the cops in similar circumstances.

Cut these boys and gals some slack. And hopefully the HM Forces stay safe while standing in, who also do a great job especially with the lack of training.

Thats my final word.

Back to the bunker captain.

22nd Nov 2002, 06:54
Originally posted by MoneyGrabberThe 40% was a conclusion of a report drawn up by an Independent bodyWhat independent body? what report?

If such a report exists why haven't the FBU been parading it around? Why hasn't IDS mentioned it a PMQs to win some points?

Windy Militant
22nd Nov 2002, 10:19
I'll probably get shouted down for this but as a government employee I have sympathy for the firefighters. Although I have reservations about the way things are being handled by both sides. However consider this. Recently I was talking to a colleague about this kind of thing and he said that he was considering changing his job. We are both what used to be called Professional and Technical officers. His reason for leaving he's been in post here for fifteen years and has a load of qualifications, his brother left school with no O levels drives a van delivering Mr Kiplings Cakes and takes home £2500 pa more than he does. The guy I share an office with, his son takes home £1500 pa basic than we do, he drives a fork lift for a warehouse company. I'm not too badly off but nearly left to drive a stacker truck a while ago, but we had a review which meant that I could eat and still fly occasionally.
Another thing that crossed my mind is a while ago there was much condemnation towards people flying for nothing or lower wages, yet we have people here saying the same thing should be done to the firefighters. There are many people who would jump at the chance to be pilots should we sack all the ATPLS and push newbies into the jobs so we can pay them less! Don't forget that while all ATPLs do work hard to get into the left seat not all pay from their own pockets, and as people keep saying its their choice to do it.
It would be nice to live in an equitable world but I guess we have to put up with what we've got.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
22nd Nov 2002, 10:30
Windy - did you factor-in your rock-solid public sector pension and job security - these days niether of those apply to jobs outside the public sector.


Windy Militant
22nd Nov 2002, 10:49
My pension will be next to nothing because I spent the first fifteen years of my working life working on building sites and subcontracting in dead end jobs thanks to Darling Margaret F*cking over the provinces where I grew up. I don't have enough time in service to benifit from the old pension scheme and can't afford to buy enough into the new one to make it worth while.
So I guess it's the B& Q pension scheme for me see you on the plumbing aisle.;)

22nd Nov 2002, 11:00
The 'independent' report that Money Grabber bangs on about from which the magic 40% figure comes is just another piece of FBU propaganda.

It was commissioned by the FBU and written by the Labour Research Department, a left-wing think-tank, and is based upon redefining the skill-level of a fireman, a method of setting pay left behind in the seventies, that only unreconstructed left-wingers believe in these days.

This is not surprising, since more sensible labour-market-based approach, would point to only London and SE England firemen being underpaid, and might point to firemen in some regions being overpaid (on a suitably-qualified applicants per job basis). The logical conclusion of this is of course local pay bargaining, which is anathema to unions as it erodes their power.

No wonder the FBU is the only body that ever mentions the LRD 'independent' report.

However what they consistantly fail to mention in the media is that the current fireman's pay formula delivered above inflation pay rises year in year out for many years since 1978 - far ahead of what many public and private sector workers have got. What instead they do go on about is all this 'falling behind' nonsense.

This strike is simply rooted in greed, old-fashioned union politics, and the worst kind of 'I'm alright Jack, f**k the rest of you' mentality.

The police do not strike. The forces covering for the firemen do not strike. Ambulance and paramedic staff (paid less than firemen) didn't withdraw emergency cover in their 1989 strike. Nurses (paid less than firemen) and Doctors rarely strike, and they didn't withdraw acute and emergency cover.

Firemen need to remember who pays their wages - all of us, the taxpayers. And many of us of all political persuasions are getting very pi**ed off with them holding the country to ransom and risking lives.

22nd Nov 2002, 19:20
Serious question.
Are the soldiers getting the same pay and conditions as the 'firemen' during the strike cover?
Anyone have the answer...


22nd Nov 2002, 19:32
28th...in answer to your question, no, the Armed Forces guys will not be on the same pay as the firefighters.

22nd Nov 2002, 19:54

I can't imagine all the firefighters are happy or they wouldn't be striking. Being on strike can't be easy on them either.

Also, would you accept changes to working practices that you thought would compromise safety?


I'd imagine that any solitary firefighter who demanded a 40% payrise or down tools would quickly find themselves in the situation you describe.
Join a union. Or don't if your happy. Or whatever. However, if one is unhappy with your circumstances why criticise someone who is trying to improve theirs.


No I haven't missed the point. I'm making one.

You ask why your taxes should fund a pay increase. I believe that if they worked for nothing we'd still be charged a fortune. I'd rather my taxes went to increasing deserving peoples wages than funding a pointless dome, or some poxy eurofighter that must have cost billions with no apparent benefit that I can see. Or funding a royal family come to that. I think the money's available when they want it to be. It might just mean less for them!

22nd Nov 2002, 21:28
Point of order Biped - your tax didn't fund a pointless dome, or even a useful one that housed an exhibition.

22nd Nov 2002, 22:52
BP - I didn't say ALL firefighters. MG said HE was happy so why is HE striking? If they don't like the conditions whilst on strike theres a really simple answer - go back to work!

What about all the firefighters interviewed on the TV who say "..we don't want to be here, doing this ...etc" SO WHY ARE THEY? GREED no other reason - maybe thats why the strikes end when the Christmas double pay starts?

Why is changing shift patterns dangerous? Because they might have to work extra hours on the 3nd job on duty days?

Unless they are going to start cutting levels of fire cover or reduce training standards there is just no danger I can see from modernisation.

PS Whats happened to MG? Resigned to the lack of support? Unable to counter the statements made here truthfully?

24th Nov 2002, 00:59
Unions should become staff federations again - there to negotatiate bulk discounts with external companies for their members, run the sports club and run a legal-aid service for genuine employer abuses of employee rights, and generally look after their members' well-being, however leave politics well alone.

24th Nov 2002, 08:57
There is negotiation and then there is blackmail. When negotiation turns into blackmail, public support goes out of the window. Fact!!!

24th Nov 2002, 10:34
PW. Don't rise to the bait. MG clearly lost track with reality (either that or of late he has too much time on his hands), possibly inhaling too much smoke :)

I'd like to think that MG was just fishing for a reaction, either that or promotion and selection procedures for Scotlands FB are far worse/easier than I'd ever have imagined. If MG is an average example of what the FB has to offer management wise then I do truly feel sorry for the blokes at the bottom.

If Trumpton want more pay then that does have to come with a change in practices. Only in Utopia would you get modern pay scales allowed with outdated working practices. FB provides an Emergency response ONLY. They are not out and about 24/7, neither do they have to wait at static road side points to lower response times like the Ambulance service. Warm fire stations may well explain why Police and Ambulance get there first!!!! As I recall the most recent winner of the SE region Bravery awards went to a Copper from hastings for entering a burning house and saving a child, all B4 the FB got there.

It is nice to see MG acknowledges that Police do have overall responsibility at certain jobs they are called to, although I fear he is probably one of many FB bods that need constant reminding of that.

In common with others I too am glad you live/work in Scotland because that way you could not be any further from where I work!!!!! More so I'm glad you're not a copper. Think with your attitude and access to even more power you'd prove to be a right arrogant little [email protected] that even other coppers would hate to work with/for.

And B4 you even start a pseudo witty response that will no doubt do more to harm the FB support than help it. I in common with PW talk from years of liason with the FB at RTA's and fires. I have two commendations for entering burning houses without any of the luxuries of water and BA's because I got there first (they were at night time :D ) and leaders like you are thankfully a minority.

The FBU/ and the like sof you are costings a number of basically hard working decent guys/gals a good reputation. You may well get some of the money you feel you deserve but at what other price?

24th Nov 2002, 12:05
They can hardly talk about hourly rate!!!! For us Flt Lt in the RAF its about a measly £3.65/hr (365 days/yr and 24hrs/day), way below the minimum wage i am led to believe?!

Please, please can i have a pay increase!! Oh sorry forgot i'm not a cabinet minister who has just taken a whopping pay rise!!!!!

:eek: :eek:

24th Nov 2002, 13:02
If it really is the case that they're working 4 on and 4 off 12 hour shifts, then they really are taking the p**s!

That means that they have 184 days off a year before leave! When you add in leave, that climbs to 214 days out of every year they have off!

Now compare to an ordianary 5 days - 40 hour a week worker, he/she, including leave, works 238 days and gets 127 days off. It's quite a difference.
If you want to convert that into hours, then firemen work 1694 hours per annum while the ordinary worker works 1904 hours. Now work out what the firemen really earn for the hours worked and see who's on the gravy train! You can go further and deduct many hours on their night shifts where they sit around scratching their arses.

They have to be taking the p**s asking for £30K don't they???

24th Nov 2002, 15:54
Vast egos at work on here I think.
The fireman didnt do his case too many favours with the way he put his side over, however I cant help but thinking the two paramedics who seem to have claimed the moral highground are doing themselves absolutely no favours whatsovever in the manner of their responses. What you say I presume is based on experience which cannot be argued with, the petty jibes and digs that you accuse the fireman of posting with, is exactly the same thing you are responding with. Grow up chaps, dont criticise someone for doing the self same thing you do youself.

Can we have a comment of the Governments position on all of this. Their performance has been less than dazzling.

Jet II
24th Nov 2002, 16:23

If it really is the case that they're working 4 on and 4 off 12 hour shifts, then they really are taking the p**s!

What has their shift pattern got to do with anything? I, as well as many others in the airline industry, work 12 hour shifts (2 days 2 nights 4 off) This is dictated by having to cover a 24 hour operation (same as the fire service) In fact when we look at hours worked my shift pattern means that I work more than the contracted 37 1/2 hours a week, so we have to build in a slip to account for this.

If you are saying that everyone should be on 8- 5 Monday to Friday then I think thats a wonderful idea - you wouldn't get much flying done though!

24th Nov 2002, 18:02

I respect your views and if you note I did apologise for letting MG wind me up and the way I responded to him. As far as I know I am the only paramedic posting on this thread... unless you include my alter ego! Incidently talking of egos, I NEVER tell anyone my exact occupation unless directly asked - the ensuing "..I have this pain... is it like Casualty... I couldn't do your job... do you use the sirens to get home quick.. etc" conversations are rather tedious after the 6th or 7th time per social event.

I don't believe stating facts is taking the moral high ground, as I presume the approx 40-50% of the general public who disagree with the fire services' strike wouldn't either.

Think the opinion of most PPRUNERs is fairly easy to establish too.

Just hope you aren't blindly defending a fellow countryman against all comers....

It now seems a no win situation - possibly on both sides...

24th Nov 2002, 18:22
Jet II, I'm well aware of the shift patterns ops people work. I'm looking at this from an employers point of view in terms of cost and productivity. The 4 on off 4 off workers work 210 hours less then the norm.

And don't be daft, I'm not suggesting everyone works 9-6, but I am saying there has to be a far more productive system then that one. It's a cushy number and you know it.

At least the ops people work during their night shifts.

24th Nov 2002, 21:36
I got the impression Quidam was a paramedic as well. If i have assumed wrongly i apologise.

Like I said the fireman is entitled to his views, I think they could have been expressed a little better. Some of the responses I thought started to get a little nastier than they perhaps should heve been.

I certainly wasnt having a go at you, your opinion in these matters is very valid as you have ( insider knowledge ) in the essential services arena. I like to keep the debates above the navel, its a personal thing.

Funnily enough it never occured to me that people like yourselves suffer the kind of remarks you highlighted, It made me laugh though.

No I'm not defending a fellow countryman, and I agree that its looking like a no win no win situation, But the Govt need their PR sorting out PDQ.

Anyway onwards and upwards, off to sunnier climes tomorrow. Hope that cleared up any confusion.

25th Nov 2002, 06:15
My, my exciting here isn't it!

I've followed most of this, I ain't in the UK anymore so it's not directly affecting me.

I don't support strikes in the Emergency Services.

However, I do believe that most areas of the Emergency Services require more cash!! (Especially Nurses!)

Some seem big on saying....'They knew what they were getting into when they joined!'.
Yep, they did. So did we all.

I'm a pilot. But I'm sick to death of hearing pilots say...it's not fair they didn't have to pay for their training. My response is...neither did you. You could have chosen a different career path. I'm well aware I'm very lucky...the Military paid me to learn to fly. Had they not, I would've chosen a different career. The fact that most pilots paid their own way into this game is not a reasonable arguement.

A fire officer joined this discussion. Agreed... he said some things that weren't 'PC'. The 'professional pilots' responce was to let rip & give him hell. :(
The responce from the paramedic & nurse were staggering....jeez you guys! Power to you, I couldn't do your job!! I'm staggered by the amount you are expected to do for your money! Hats off ladies & gentlemen...Hats off!

As for me? Do I believe the Firemen should be out on strike? No. I believe that their pay & conditions, both now & post proposed change, are pretty reasonable. But I do not attack them. A body of pilots recently went out on strike here in Ireland. Did I support their reasoning? No. Did I attack them? No.

Live & let live.

Oh & another thought. I'm really very lucky. I've got a job. So, by the sounds of things, have most of. Many haven't.

Are we all paid enough by our standards or by standards of others? You answer that. I'm paid more than some, less than some. By some peoples standards I'm paid far too much, by others far too little.

Will anyone ever be truly happy with their pay cheque? & if offered a pay rise say 'no, no you pay me enough already!' ?
I think not.

There was a time when this place wasn't so personal. I'd like to see it go back to that. As a whole 'pilots' have it pretty good, but what gives us the right to pour such scorn on others?

25th Nov 2002, 13:43

You ask :

"There was a time when this place wasn't so personal. I'd like to see it go back to that. As a whole 'pilots' have it pretty good, but what gives us the right to pour such scorn on others?"

Not a pilot myself, but as a British taxpayer I would say that I have every right to pour scorn on the FBU membership, who, in their short-sighted attempt at personal enrichment, risk bringing back the economic instability this country suffered in the '70s.

Hope that answers your question.



25th Nov 2002, 15:13
Economic Instability???

Never a truer word said - the 70's all over again anyone?:(

If the FBU achieve anything like this proposed 40% increase, then I'll be transfering my £ cash holdings into US dollars.....because within a year, everybody else will (quite rightly) be saying-

'Hey, if they got more, so should we!!'

Watch where the pound.....and a lot of people's retirement / life savings goes then; straight into a 30 year timewarp:(

Britain in the 70's, Germany in the 30's, similar situations caused by similar solutions to problems...cant happen again, can it??....but then, they say that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

Traditionally, this applies to economics as well as wars.

I wish this was just me idle'lly speculating; this comes from the wife however, and she is rather senior in the financial industry.

Oh, and before i get labelled some flash git because of my intention to swop money around, have a look on www.swissnetbank.com; everyone has the capabillity if they so wish.

Now may be the time for some forward thought chaps??

Send Clowns
25th Nov 2002, 17:28
Biped you have completely missed the point, and in your last post completely failed to say anything that justified what you support.

The point is that the firemen are striking to try and get more money for no extra work, from people who have no option. You ask why we should complain at them trying to improve their pay. Well a man who walks up to you in the street with a knife and asks you for money is trying to improve his pay, but you would not support him, so your original point is invalid. You then say without justifying your statement that extra money should go into wages, only saying you'd prefer it. Fine - you give a fireman some money. I would prefer to keep the economy vaguely on track (unlikely in any case with this government, but maybe I'd prefer as little damage as possible). I would prefer low tax, no power to socialist politicians running unions and sensible working practices in the fire services.

You say the Eurofighter is pointless, so clearly you don't care about putting government employees at risk, by making them carry on working with the frankly terrible Tornado. Since the Royal Family make a net contribution to the exchequer (historically in exchange for not having to fund the country) and large net contribution to the economy your complaint about them was irrelevant, and of course all revenue to fund the DOme was voluntary taxation in the lottery.

The firefighters are not striking because they are not happy with the job (as Monney Grabber has told us). They are striking because their leader told them they deserved more and could achieve it. They do not, and cannot. He is causing the strike to try and bring about a socialist nation. I am a strong supporter of trades unions, and hate to see them being used for political reasons.

Face it this strike is a risking lives in a petulant demand for more money. In other circumstances that would be described as "demanding money with menaces".

25th Nov 2002, 17:29
Well lets see if President Tony Bliar (not a typo) has some backbone and stands by the statements he made today!!

"No more than 4% without productivity agreement"

25th Nov 2002, 19:01

Once again I'll say. That you don't accept my point does not make it invalid, irrelevant or that I have missed yours. I'm willing to accept your views as valid. I simply have different views. You state yours. I'll state mine. If you weren't so blinkered you might be able to accept that someone can hold a different opinion than you without it being automaticaly invalid. Maybe that's something you could work on.

As for not justifiying my support for the firefighters payclaim. I simply believe that they and many other public (and private sector) workers are paid far too little for the job they do. When so much public money is (in my opinion) wasted. (The details and our opinions of this alleged wastage we could argue about for weeks). I think that the vast majority of workers in this country are paid far too little while the minority are paid far too much.

I also am happy to see people stand up against a government that I think needs to understand who it is meant to be working for.

Send Clowns
25th Nov 2002, 20:04

I agree that many people are paid too little for the work they do, and many others paid too much. However making a judgement against comparable workers Firefighters are not underpaid, in fact considering their conditions of employment they are well-remunerated. You have completely failed to justify your assertion that they are ill-paid, as have the firemen themselves. The ultimate judgement is the free market: if they were underpaid then recruitment would be a problem. In a very few regions this is the case, in most it is not. Hence my support for local pay bargaining.

Certainly much public money is wasted. However the firemen themselves waste much due to outdated employment conditions. In fact that this money has been offered to them as pay if they are willing to modernise. However public money being wasted does not make an argument either way in this debate, so I don't see why you repeat it. It is irrelevant to firebrigade pay.

I am not blinkered, just you made a point that as I say is invalid - you said that we should not criticise someone for trying to take our money. I did not just say it was invalid because I disagreed, I pointed out why it is invalid. You still fail to make any argument in justification, and maybe that is something you can work on. Typically socialists make arguments from a viewpoint that they are unwilling or unable to justify, as it is their basic assumption that they hold self-evident, even when it can easily be argued not to have any basis. You seem here to be doing the same thing. I ask you straight: why should we accept the firefighters trying to enrich themselves at our expense and at hazard to the general population and especially the armed forces?

25th Nov 2002, 21:11
I hate to be the materialistic weasel of the forums, but does anyone else think those FBU caps the firemen seem to wear (peaked, with a flame design and the FBU logo on?) are going to be collectible in a few years time?


25th Nov 2002, 21:44
Dunno but you might be able to pick up a few when they get chucked into the ring when they finaly realise that they can whistle for the 40%

26th Nov 2002, 11:31
I just hope that all you people who have vocally supported the firefighters in their pay claims are going to be equally supportive of the 7% hike in income tax that will be required to fund similar pay claims for the whole public sector, because if the firefighters are allowed to win, don't for a second think it will stop with them.

Yes, everyone will have to pay to line the pockets of the militant few. But that's socialist fairness, comrades.

26th Nov 2002, 12:22

Have you ever heard about the economic term "inflation”? Inflation results in a general increase in prices and a fall in the purchasing power of money, caused by a number of factors - the main one being too much money in the system - in other words, Joe Public being paid too much. A classic example of this was the Weimar Republic of Germany in the 30's, when the government printed too much money and as a result prices went through the roof and cash became almost worthless. Loaves of bread would cost millions of Marks, and people were literally wheeling carts of money around just to buy their normal provisions.

I'm not suggesting that a pay increase of 16% to the FBU alone would be nearly as dramatic, but if they are successful - and the rest of the public sector decides to jump on the bandwagon - we could see some serious inflation affects on our economy. The result, all that hard won extra cash becomes worthless.

Read what the Bank of England say on the matter - and yes, they are independant of the governement :


26th Nov 2002, 12:36
Send Clowns:

I am a strong supporter of trades unions.....

I'm not entering a position in the current argument, but I would be very interested to see evidence to back up this claim in the face of all your right wing proclamations.

Send Clowns
26th Nov 2002, 19:06
I was a member of a trades union, and as soon as I am flying for a living I will join again. I support the idea of trade union backing for reasonable employment disputes over pay or conditions and providing solid legal cover for members. My father (many of the same political opinions as I have) is a member of Amicus, and has used their services in a case where an employer was trying to persuade him to leave to avoid redundancy costs, so I know the value of a trades union. My great grandfather on the other side was a founder member of the boiler makers' union, and his son-on-law, my grandfather was a member. I see great value in their work.

Although I do not see why trades unions are incompatible with right-wing politics (provided they work for their members' rights not political ends). Nor do I see myself as particularly right wing - I am a liberal (a real liberal, not a Liberal, as in I believe that people should be able to do as they like if they aren't harming anyone else. This entails taking responsibility for oneself, which you may see as right wing). The thing I dislike intensely in the trades union movement is the taking over of the organisations to fight for a socialist nation, a resurgent phenomenon that the FBU shows openly as previously stated. Neither you nor MG has agreed to address this issue.

Good to see that firefighters will be employed in more realistic numbers after this debacle.

P.S. you seem reluctant to adress any of my arguments either, except with bare statments of your opinion.

26th Nov 2002, 19:42
Hands up who thinks the firefighters wish they hadn't gone on strike.
\o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/

Congratulations to the armed forces for coping so well and to Blair and his cronies for telling them to shove it..



26th Nov 2002, 19:46

Quote: Firefighters are not underpaid, in fact considering their conditions of employment they are well-remunerated. Endquote.

Are you suggesting the firefighters have an easy job? And are therefore paid adequately. Sleeping or playing pool, they are still on standby and must respond at amoments notice to a possibly physicall and mentally demanding often traumatic situation where lives may well be at stake and perform to their best possible abilities (yes analogies may be given for many jobs). If they do not peform properly, lives could be lost. A reason.

My argument that much public money is wasted is based upon the statements that no money is available. If public money is being wasted it is!

You say they are rejecting modernisation, however if modernisation is a byword for cuts; longer hours - tired firefighters, Less personnel at nights - reduced firefighters responding to an emergency. If this "modernisation" results in reduced cover then they are right to reject it.

And finally, in my opinion, I believe that whatever their job, everyone has the right to decent pay and a decent standard of living.


Inflation. You say this is the result of "joe public " being overpaid.
Interesting how the gargantuan and growing wages of Chairman and CEO's of multinational corporations, bankers, traders, brokers, footballers, MP's do not contribute to this economic phenomenon. Only the evil of a decent wage being paid to the workers. Very convenient.

Prices have been increasing as long as I can remember while wages not so sharply this is called profiteering, the word inflation replaced.
The argument of inflation effectively states that if the workers can afford a decent standard of living, then prices should be raised until they cannot is in my opinion wrong and morally foul.

Send Clowns
26th Nov 2002, 20:13
I never suggested that Firemen have an easy job. I suggested they have good conditions of service. They have an extremely generous pension, and until they started demanding money with menaces they had jobs for life.

Now we compare as I have done to similar employees, HM Armed Forces. For equivalent responsibility they earn less than 2/3 what the firefighters do. They are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They do not play pool or sleep on duty. They give up many freedoms: the freedom to travel abroad without permission, the freedom to take a second job, as the firefighters often do, their freedom of speach, their freedom of action (they are subject at any time to lawful order from a senior). Many are forced into far more traumatic situations than any fire fighter - in fact as I have stated more than once they may have to fight fires in far worse situations than civilian fires. If they do not perform properly they risk lives and freedom. Many risk torture and imprisonment by enemy forces. They go through harsh training: in my first 6 weeks in the navy I worked a minimum 18 hour day, a few minutes snatched for perhaps 2 meals, 3 if I was lucky. No sitting around playing pool or taking a leisurely lunch.

You have not compared the firefighters with anyone else, so your argument that they have a tough job is irrelevant: they get paid a wage they agreed to for that job. No-one forced them in, no one forces them to stay. If the pay is too little, they may leave. Tehrefore no reason at all.

The public money being wasted is not available: it is being wasted. If it were to be saved it should go back to the people why rightly own it, the taxpayers. It is an irrelevant argument.

You have completely failed to justify your opinion that cuts should not be made. There are fewer calls at night, so why not fewer firefighters to respond to those calls? What reason do you have to think that we have minimum manning now? Are you an expert on fire service manning? The logical conclusion to your argument is that to keep maximum response available with minimum fatigue we should all be trained firefighters. You have again made an assumption without any reference for comparrison. Without an overtime ban the fire cover could be maintained better, as it could with part-time and full-time firefighters working together. Not all modernisation means cuts. Sharing emergency response rooms with police and ambulance services would also not be a cut, except in costs and unnecessary manning levels.

In any case you seem to support the firefighters cutting the personnel available to 1/3rd the normal strength by striking. The government has only suggested a cut to around 5/6 the current strength. Why should this be unreasonable? It would allow a 25% pay rise. Of course the strike itself has proved that many firefighters are redundant, and that intelligent control of nocturnal and diurnal manning can reduce cover required, as this is how the military cover is working.

Everyone does have a right to decent pay and standard of living, you are right. Define decent. In comparrison to what? In the '60s firefighters would have been considered fairly well-paid, although their wives would not have worked. Now I'm sure they earn more than twice as much in real terms, and often have a second household income, especially with their shift pattern easing child care concerns. Why are they now badly-paid?

Your interpretation of inflation is so bizarre as to be rather amusing. Wages have always in my memory risen faster than prices. It is a socialist myth that people are getting poorer, as would be quite obvious if you could remember back only 15 or 20 years.

Under a true, monitored (against monopoly/cartel) capitalist system your odd conspiracy theory is not feasible. People sell goods to make a profit, and making them unaffordable does not fit into this. Competitors would also duck in beneath the overpriced goods. The only cause of high inflation (modest inflation is natural and healthy in a strong economy) is excessive wage increases, overly fast growth or over use of credit.

26th Nov 2002, 21:45

Average wage growth across the economy = 4%
RPI (Inflation) = 2.4%

The figures have been that way round for a long time - in fact since the seventies, when both Labour and Tory governments operated a prices and incomes policy that pegged pay increases to below the rate of inflation (the policy was called 'RPI minus one' - pay rises could be no more than 1% less than the rate of inflation by law).

Your definition of inflation and associated socialist shadow-boxing is quite amusing. You really should do some background reading on economics before commenting. With such an apparently poorly-developed sense of economic issues, no wonder you fail to see the consequences of a big pay rise for the firemen. Which is a shame, because they would affect you negatively too: if the economy goes bad thanks to unrealistic public-sector pay claims being met, everyone suffers.

26th Nov 2002, 22:17
Anyone see Ready Steady Cook tonight the guests were a couple of firemen.
With all the goings on the right thing would've to postpone it,but oh no yet more pro BBC support for these mercenaries. :mad:

26th Nov 2002, 23:08
You can go further and deduct many hours on their night shifts where they sit around scratching their arses.

Bit rich for a pilot to complain about people sitting around doing ****all! At least they make their own coffee.
You were obviously suited to management.

27th Nov 2002, 01:16
No Surrender, that is a typical statement from someone who knows very little about our job. When flight deck visits were allowed we used to guess what the first thing someone visiting the flight deck would say and one of the popular ones was "you don't so much here do you". That one usually went along with "It's not very big in here", "It looks like were hardly moving" and "how do you steer?". From someone not familiar with our job we expected it and tried to explain a few things. For someone who visits this site regularly I would have expected a bit of a more educated comment. :rolleyes:

To compare us, strapped to an aluminium tube travelling at 500+ miles per hour in an environment that would kill you in less than a minute without any protection, monitoring the radio, checking the weather at en route alternates, checking fuel remaining against fuel required, reading up on arrival procedures at the destination or doing any of a multitude of other tasks cannot be compared to 'waiting' for something to happen whilst sitting around a table or in a comfy chair on the ground.

Can you imagine if the passengers saw us both step out of the flightdeck and take a seat next to them so that we could watch the movie or just to curl up and go to sleep? If you were to compare a pilot that has to be on standby at the airport I could understand but it is irrelevant as our working practices are not under discussion and cannot be compared to a firefighters.

Stop being ridiculous and stick to the discussion which is the firefighters strike and their demands versus their employers and the government.

27th Nov 2002, 02:03
for the most part you are totally correct, I wouldn't do your job for a big clock, also you'll be worried to learn that I was qualified to refuel military aircraft in a previous life and have used my engineering background to help candidates through their "performance a" exams so I'm not quite as ignorant as you think, though I do like to give that impression:D

The gist of my post was to display my displeasure at the suggestion that people should only be paid whilst actually on the job but not be paid if they are on standby. I'm sure pilots would no more stand for this than would firefighters.
What's sauce for the goose...

27th Nov 2002, 08:53
Hospital doctors get paid 1/2-time when they are on call/'standby'/whatever you want to call it.

They have to sleep/eat in the hospital

Maybe we should factor this into the firemens' hourly rate calculations? 1/2 time for when they are in bed.

Send Clowns
27th Nov 2002, 09:37

We used to calculate that in the Navy when the government was developing silly employment legislation. I seem to remember that calculating for every hour we were available for wokr if so ordered (i.e. every hour of the year) we were paid as junior officers a little over a pound an hour, before deductions. As Lieutenants with flying pay we were still well below minimum wage!

The serious point is that you cannot use all your time on call to count towards the pay you expect to receive. For pilots this is a set proportion of duties, agreed with the contract. That is also the case with firefighters. The rates of pay take this into account.

The £8.50 per hour after deductions mentioned (remember deductions include a pension that for the rest of us on similar wages would account for around 30% of our pay if we were allowed to put that much into a pension) does not take account of the time on standby.

27th Nov 2002, 17:58
Actually I think the BBC has put a different spin on things. For example there are two recent stories about how bored the troops are and how unchallenging they've found the role, compared to their expectations. Have a read of these (even the police join in):

From Sunday-

From today-

And this non-Army story-

27th Nov 2002, 19:38

You seem to have created a set of rules for this debate which you feel people must adhere to or their comments are invalid. How typically right wing of you.
I see no reason to draw comparisons to other jobs. As I have stated, I believe many should be paid more. I see no relevence in your constant comparisons to military life.
My argument against inflation was a response to a viewpoint that effectively states that people should not be allowed too much money in their pockets. Yet this apparently does not apply to all. I find this bizzare.

27th Nov 2002, 19:42
I see no reason to draw comparisons to other jobs
I do....
I see no relevence in your constant comparisons to military life
I do....


27th Nov 2002, 20:28
I find sendclowns posts to be cogent, relevant, well argued and reasoned. I wish I could say the same about yours, but they are of a considerably lesser order.

27th Nov 2002, 21:46
Surely the fact that military staff are doing the job admiralbly, with less training and equipment is good enough reason to compare their terms and conditions to the fire service?

Oh and don't forget doing it for significantly less pay.....

Send Clowns
27th Nov 2002, 23:02

How can you determine a relevant pay for one job without reference to others? Doing so collapses the whole basis of a monetary economy and its development over time. For example in real terms someone such as a solicitor in Victorian England had a lower income than a teacher in modern times. Yet we consider a Victorian solicitor to be well-paid and some see modern teachers as underpaid. Yet the job of a teacher involves fewer hours of work than a victorian solicitor required, and is much less selective.

I agree that the practice of rigourous debate, from commonly-agreed assumptions is more widely known amongst the right-wing, as you said. They must often contend with wild arguments grounded in socialist or "liberal" (in fact often very illiberal) principles taken as basic, unassailable assumptions, even when they contain fundamental flaws.

Your argument about inflation showed fundamentally flawed understanding and a strange conspiracy theory I have not seen anywhere else.

Buggs Bunny
29th Nov 2002, 23:02
Should firefighters and other emergancy workers get a pay increase over the next few year? Yes.

Should it be 30 - 40%. No

Why are they on strike? Because they are living off the sympatheise of the NYFD afetr sept 11.

Big question: Would there be a stike if sept 11th had not happened. I think not.

Also, why are they all still able to get access to the fire stations. When you strike arnt you supposed to be locked out of your place of work. Not the fire fighters. Drove past a station near Man Airport today to see approx 5 guys sat around a fire all drinking coffee from their cups. Two guys inside the station getting dressed in to their kit and when the traffic lights changed and I drove around the corner, about 4 guys playing pool. God they are suffering!!

Wake up and get back to the real life.

Angry BB
:mad: :mad: :mad:

Big G.
30th Nov 2002, 00:09
Evening All.

I haven't read all the posts, so this may not fit in with what has already been said.

I have been involved in Op Fresco this week, and believe me, from what I have seen most fire fighters are overpaid.
An example of my night shift.
19:00: Turn up for work, say hello to crew I will be escorting.
19:05: Get kettle on, watch tv.
19:30 Get kettle on watch tv.
20:30 As above.
21:30 As above except turn over channel.
22:00 Get turned out to car fire. Stolen vehicle, no hassle army boys and girls had it sorted in no time.
23:00 Get kettle on watch tv.
00:00 Get kettle on watch tv.
01:15 Turned out to house fire, cancelled onroute, sorted by Police officers at scene!!
02:00 Play pool.
03:00 Watch tv.
04:00 Watch tv and play pool.
05:00 As above.
06:00 Clean Police kit for handover.
07:00 Say goodbye to a great bunch of boys and girls. Go home.

I have to admit that I did not find the experience tasking. If thats a typical night shift for our underpaid firefighters, then they need to wake up and join the rest of us in the real world.

Everybody likes figures to support an argument, so here they are. Overnight the Police controol room in my county received 600 requests for police service alone. The JCC received 15 requests for the fire service. 15 calls for the entire county, who is fooloing who here.

Big G.

30th Nov 2002, 15:06
What you must realise is that they need the 40% rise to pay privately for a bladder enlargement operation to accomodate all the tea.
They also need danger money in case a pool ball comes off the table and hits one of them in the eye.


30th Nov 2002, 15:47
Sorry biped on reading the various posts I find your reasoning less than convincing. I have to admit it is probably superior to the reasoning put forward by the firemen in support of their wage demand which unfortunately leaving me significantly less convinced by them.
40 % would seem to be a totaly unrealistic jump by anybody's standards no matter who they were, and what they did. Market forces generaly tends to see that renumeration is reasonably equitable. In extreme circumstances and with economies in freefall the figures that the firefightes are demanding assume some sort of logic but as an immediate pay hike they wouild seem quite frankly ridiculous.
It would appear that even the government you seem to believe is 'owned' by the workers and is 'betraying' (my quotes) them, thinks so too, which is vaguely reassuring. It would also seem to indicate the direction you approach the discussion from, since you seem to attatch some importance to the left/right factor in the merits or demerits of the requested raise and discussion about it.

30th Nov 2002, 18:43
As one, I think Emergency Services work is best described as 99% boredom/inactivity and 1% excitement/terror.

I don't think anybody disagrees that Fire Service workers deserve more pay. However, they are not the only public sector workers that applies to. Neither are they anywhere near as much of a special case as they appear to believe. The amount demanded is unrealistic both in terms of economy and what they are paid to do. Moreover we will already be paying for the costs incurred by the striking. Police escorting Mil firefighters are all on overtime where I am.

I am left wondering whether the general workers actually believe the FBU's claims and how many are being dragged along by the more militant element.

It would seem that the FBU's objections to most of the 'modernisation' requirements centre around a loss of perks for the staff.

Making fire staff be on call on their days off will not automatically mean tired overworked firefighters. What it will affect is how much 'extra' work they can do on their days off.

With respect to 'seeing horrors' it is best not to forget that aside from emergency services workers plenty of other professions see horrific sights. Undertakers, Highways workers, morturary assistants, recovery vehicle drivers and hospital porters (out of office hours porters deal with morturary admissons) and all of those are on less money than fire fighters.

For the individual responsibilites how many fixed wing or rotary instructors earn anywhere naer as much as a fire fighter???

Fire fighters are still using the stations we all pay for whilst not working. They are not striking on bank holidays when they earn more money and assuming three engines per station, 5 per engine + management staff, x3 for the shifts (days/nights/rd's) why do you only see 10-15 strikers outside the fire station???? Where are the rest??? Working elsewhere????.

Outwardly in common with most I make no reaction to the striking staff. Nurses and teachers have a much stronger case for extra money. It is an extreme analogy but robbery is basically obtaining money with threats and what teh FBU are doing is little differnet in my opinion and I for one object to it.

Hope whatever they get comes at the price some of them deserve

3rd Dec 2002, 13:39
I welcome the news that the FBU have decided to suspend their next eight day strike, but the terrible cynic in me can't help but think that this has something to do with their Christmas pay packets. Ooooh, hush my mouth.....

8th Jan 2003, 19:37
BBC - Wednesday, 8 January, 2003 - 'No new deal' in firefighter strike.

Employers' chiefs will offer "no new money" to striking firefighters when strike talks resume next week, BBC News Online has been told. The Employers' Organisation said the Bain report - recommending an 11% pay rise funded by modernisation - would be the only deal on the table.

The announcement comes as fire chiefs paid tribute to an off-duty firefighter who died while trying to rescue his brother from a blaze at his home in East Sussex.

The employers' national executive met earlier this week and will discuss the issue again on Monday.

Both sides are due to begin separate talks with conciliation service Acas on Tuesday, with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) planning two 48-hour strikes on 28 January and 1 February.

Employers' leaders are not optimistic about averting further walk-outs. Jim Christie, from the Employers' Organisation, told BBC News Online: "We have met and the position is very, very clear. We will be telling the Fire Brigades Union that we will be offering no more in pay than was in the Bain report. We will say Bain is the only game in town."

The Bain review, published in December, was roundly condemned by the FBU as "irrelevant" and "insulting". It interprets talk of modernisation as job cuts.

Geoff Ellis, spokesman for the FBU, said the union's national executive would also be meeting this week to discuss its approach to negotiations. But he said the Bain report was "not the way forward."

Mr Ellis added: "We will reserve comment until we see exactly what the employers are proposing next week. However, we are after a sizeable increase for our members and until we get that the dispute is going to continue. We have strikes planned and it looks like they are going to go ahead."

Firefighters held a two day national strike - the first since 1977 - last November, followed shortly after by an eight day walkout.

Plans for action in December were suspended to allow extra time for talks.

Send Clowns
8th Jan 2003, 21:16
Why does it strike me that still, nearly 30 years after the devastating miners strikes of the early 70s some trades unions are more concerned for their power and their political stance than for their members? The only reason that the FBU is concerned about job cuts is the reduction in membership, giving them less clout.