bfawuFBU Logo JPEGnapo logo2nujNEUlogo


Surrey’s Chief Fire Officer Russell Pearson has been removed from post just months after he was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal, it has been revealed today (20 July).

The Fire Brigades Union says it fears Surrey County Council (SCC) ousted him as punishment for his repeated warnings that planned budget cuts would leave Surrey Fire and Rescue Service unable to protect the public.

Richard Jones, executive council member for the FBU in south east England, said: “I am in no doubt that the only reason SCC would replace Russell Pearson is so they can get someone in to do a hatchet job, solely to make cuts without any regard to public or firefighter safety.

“With emergency response times in Surrey at their slowest since 1996, the number of fires we attend and rescues we make increasing year on year since 2015, further cuts are absolutely absurd and show SCC are prioritising monetary savings ahead of public safety.”

Since 2010, the council have cut £20m from the service budget and they now plan to implement a further £5.5m worth of cuts between 2019 and 2021. As a result the number of firefighters in the county has plummeted by 40% resulting in chronic staff shortages. It means a number of fire appliances are unavailable to respond to emergencies because there are not enough firefighters to crew them.

Emergency crews have been cut in size to four despite SCC’s 2011 Public Safety Plan stating that it would crew all fire engines with five firefighters. Emergency control room staff have also been cut leading to call queuing and delays in getting critical information to emergency crews.

Mr Jones continued: “Further budget cuts will lead to firefighters being made redundant resulting in a 50% reduction in the already inadequate number of firefighters. This would create a woefully inadequate service that will result in saveable lives being lost”.

In June 2017, Surrey firefighters submitted a Motion of No Confidence in SCC’s fire authority. To date, the council has not met with FBU officials in Surrey with a view to resolving the serious public and firefighter safety concerns raised within it.

The FBU is urging residents to write and email their county councillors to voice their opposition to these dangerous arbitrary cuts the council wants to impose on them. Details can be found here: https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) has joined fellow civil service unions FDA and Prospect, calling for a Judicial Review over the government’s below inflation pay remit guidance.

Ministers issued the pay remit guidance of 1-1.5% last month and refused to consult the civil unions properly over pay despite promises to the contrary.

Now the PCS is pursuing legal action against the government with other civil service unions in an unprecedented show of unity.

All three unions have already written to the government demanding that the pay remit guidance is withdrawn but they refused, despite clear evidence there was not a proper consultation as well as unions receiving an apology from ministers for the process.

In a joint statement today from all three unions, it says: “We wrote to Elizabeth Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the minister responsible at the Treasury for the pay guidance, following the refusal of the Minister for the Cabinet Office to withdraw the guidance and commit to a meaningful consultation process for 2018. In the letter we requested an urgent meeting with Elizabeth Truss but we have not received a response.

We cannot accept the lack of meaningful consultation. Accordingly, our lawyers have today, written to the minister for the Cabinet Office to request that they withdraw the civil service pay guidance and undertake a process of appropriate consultation, and in the absence of an appropriate response we will be issuing proceedings for Judicial Review.

As General Secretaries, we have agreed to continue working as closely as possible on these issues for the common good of our members. Whilst each union will clearly have to determine their own objectives and strategy for delivering them, we are committed to pursuing this matter together.”

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka: “Our members have run out of patience with this government. They have had enough of ministers making false promises of lifting the pay cap and having a meaningful consultation, only to be told the de-facto pay cap will remain.

“Theresa May is treating hardworking government staff in the civil service and related areas, like second class workers. She lifted the pay cap for NHS and local government workers but our members are left languishing on a derisory pay cap.

“The judicial review is an unprecedented show of unity from the civil service unions and shows how angry people are.

“We are also balloting our members for industrial action and if the government does not address our 5% pay claim, we will proceed with sustained industrial action if voted for by our members.”

The PCS is balloting 140,000 members in the civil service and related areas. The ballot closes on 23rd July.



cool it-218px



Trade Union news

livemarks   BFAWU  livemarks  PCS  livemarks   FBU 

livemarks  POA   livemarks  NAPO  livemarks    RMT 

livemarks  NUJ   livemarks   NUT   livemarks  URTU

Search the site


TheCostofLivingCrisis-jpeg 1

By MIchael Calderbank

Foreword by Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary


Buy now from www.radicalread.co.uk

Based on research commissioned by the TUCG, the book examines why costs have risen for all items of expenditure, ranging from housing and child care to food and transport. He makes practical proposals on how these costs can be reduced. He also delivers an uncompromising message to the leaders of all mainstream Westminster Parties: it is time to end the politics of austerity, an ideological project to cut the size of the state permanently.