Firefighter claims authority is operating 'sham service' during strikes

Bucks Free Press: Firefighters picket outside Wycombe station in May Firefighters picket outside Wycombe station in May

A FIREFIGHTER claims that residents could be at risk as High Wycombe Fire Station operates a “sham of a service” during a strike row.

But Buckinghamshire’s Chief Fire Officer Mark Jones rubbished the claims and said the comments are ‘engineered to divert attention’ away from the strike action being taken by the Fire Brigades Union.

Union members will picket outside stations around the country over the next eight days over a dispute about pensions and the retirement age.

A firefighter, who asked to remain anonymous, told the BFP that Bucks Fire and Rescue is refusing to accept the services of union members.

He said BFR’s decision to reject partial performance, which is perfectly legal, is “outrageous” and is putting the safety of residents at risk, with High Wycombe station “offering a sham of a service.”

He said: “For eight days we will be forced to find something else to do while they operate a shame of a service on scraps.

“The public is paying for this. They pay for a professional service, but they will be getting a sub-standard service without a tax reduction.

“And where is the money going that Bucks Fire and Rescue will save?

“It’s disgusting people are looking at losing 60 hours work, it’s bullying, and I dread to think what would happen if a major incident occurred.”

Bucks Fire and Rescue decided in December not to accept partial performance from any member of staff participating in strike action, with contingency plans drawn up to cover absences.

Chief Fire Officer Jones said: “It seems to me that comments about how we manage the Fire Brigades Union’s decision to go on strike are engineered to divert attention away from the fact that it has chosen to withdraw its labour on so many occasions and place the public at risk.

“It also seems that the Fire Brigades Union doesn't just want to go on strike - it also wants to control how Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service manages the absence of its members.

“Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority made a lawful and reasonable decision last December, in which it considered the considerable costs to the local taxpayer of this ongoing dispute."

But he added: “However, I have been very impressed with some of the ideas expressed by the firefighters I have spoken to on picket lines as to how we might come to agreement which would lessen the financial impact upon striking firefighters and the risk to our communities.

“I had hoped that seeing this flexibility operate would have stimulated the Fire Brigades Union into seeking further such local agreements to help their members.”

Comments (15)

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4:59pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Marmite XO says...

“It’s disgusting people are looking at losing 60 hours work, it’s bullying, and I dread to think what would happen if a major incident occurred.”

Unbelievable. What an imbecile.

I feel sorry for Chief Fire Officer Jones having to try and reason with these buffoons.

If there is any justice, any fires that occur during the strike will be to the striking firefighters houses.
“It’s disgusting people are looking at losing 60 hours work, it’s bullying, and I dread to think what would happen if a major incident occurred.” Unbelievable. What an imbecile. I feel sorry for Chief Fire Officer Jones having to try and reason with these buffoons. If there is any justice, any fires that occur during the strike will be to the striking firefighters houses. Marmite XO
  • Score: -7

5:43pm Mon 14 Jul 14

United we stand divided we fall says...

In response to marmite xo. Can I just ask do you even know why the fire fighters are striking? Did you understand the article? The official strikes are 4 hours a day, so 30 hours over the next 8 days. The fire chief of Buckinghamshire has taken it upon himself to not pay the fire fighters for a total of 192 hours over the next 8 days. Now as a resident of Buckinghamshire, I would like to ask what gives him the right to reduce my fire service and put my safety at risk for 162 hours more than any other brigade in the country. My parents used to tell me if I couldn't say anything nice then don't say anything at all. Maybe marmite xo could take head of that.
In response to marmite xo. Can I just ask do you even know why the fire fighters are striking? Did you understand the article? The official strikes are 4 hours a day, so 30 hours over the next 8 days. The fire chief of Buckinghamshire has taken it upon himself to not pay the fire fighters for a total of 192 hours over the next 8 days. Now as a resident of Buckinghamshire, I would like to ask what gives him the right to reduce my fire service and put my safety at risk for 162 hours more than any other brigade in the country. My parents used to tell me if I couldn't say anything nice then don't say anything at all. Maybe marmite xo could take head of that. United we stand divided we fall
  • Score: 1

9:28pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Marmite XO says...

In response to marmite xo. Can I just ask do you even know why the fire fighters are striking? 

Laziness

Did you understand the article?

Yes

As a resident of Buckinghamshire (or a lazy striking firefighter in your case) why should I accept 4 hours a day for 8 days of you lot sat outside your station smoking and scratching your arses. I'm pleased Chief Fire Officer Jones is docking your pay for the full day. I'd be happy for him to sack the lot of you and replace you with hardworking people prepared to serve the public.
In response to marmite xo. Can I just ask do you even know why the fire fighters are striking?  Laziness Did you understand the article? Yes As a resident of Buckinghamshire (or a lazy striking firefighter in your case) why should I accept 4 hours a day for 8 days of you lot sat outside your station smoking and scratching your arses. I'm pleased Chief Fire Officer Jones is docking your pay for the full day. I'd be happy for him to sack the lot of you and replace you with hardworking people prepared to serve the public. Marmite XO
  • Score: 1

7:53am Tue 15 Jul 14

United we stand divided we fall says...

It is clear from your comments that you are just trying to get a response. You come across as an uninformed idiot who really needs to get off your little wooden box and go down to your local fire station to talk to the men and women there. Let's not forget these people have families, yet are still willing to risk there lived at times to save others. Even idiots like you. What gives you the right to call them lazy? Just by your stupid comment about sacking them all shows that you are actually talking out of your arse. If what the chief of Buckinghamshire is doing is so right, then why is every brigade in the country not doing it? It is very easy sitting on your fat behind and writing stupid comments. Not so easy to actually find out the truth before commenting. So go and crawl back under your rock and pray you never need the help of the fire service.
It is clear from your comments that you are just trying to get a response. You come across as an uninformed idiot who really needs to get off your little wooden box and go down to your local fire station to talk to the men and women there. Let's not forget these people have families, yet are still willing to risk there lived at times to save others. Even idiots like you. What gives you the right to call them lazy? Just by your stupid comment about sacking them all shows that you are actually talking out of your arse. If what the chief of Buckinghamshire is doing is so right, then why is every brigade in the country not doing it? It is very easy sitting on your fat behind and writing stupid comments. Not so easy to actually find out the truth before commenting. So go and crawl back under your rock and pray you never need the help of the fire service. United we stand divided we fall
  • Score: 4

8:29am Tue 15 Jul 14

bond man says...

I think the chief fire officer now has done the right thing, If you look at the bigger picture he is managing to still run a effecient emergency service out of what you call SCRAPS!! This must show that he does not need all you firemen or engines,Lets face it you have very easy little numbers,you work in effect just 2 days out of 8 the other 2 shifts your tucked up in your beds readt to go to your 2nd job after your shift.
90% of your calls are of a non urgent and non life threatening nature, If i was the chief a big shake up would be on the cards after these strikes.
I know all about the job as i did it for 30 years. STOP BEING GREEDY
I think the chief fire officer now has done the right thing, If you look at the bigger picture he is managing to still run a effecient emergency service out of what you call SCRAPS!! This must show that he does not need all you firemen or engines,Lets face it you have very easy little numbers,you work in effect just 2 days out of 8 the other 2 shifts your tucked up in your beds readt to go to your 2nd job after your shift. 90% of your calls are of a non urgent and non life threatening nature, If i was the chief a big shake up would be on the cards after these strikes. I know all about the job as i did it for 30 years. STOP BEING GREEDY bond man
  • Score: -1

10:45am Tue 15 Jul 14

Marmite XO says...

I apologise to United we stand (yawn) divided we fall. I should have sited greed rather than laziness. Pure GREED is the reason for this strike.

I have no intention of going down to the local fire station to meet the mercenaries you call co-workers. Seeing them sitting outside smoking snd laughing rather than working is all I need to know about you lot.

As for praying I never need the fire service, I will pray every day after an insight of the type of moronic workers they have if you are their spokesman.

I stand by my comment of sacking the lot of you. How hard can it be to find someone who actually wants to serve the public - rather than the current mob who want more money for rescuing cats.
I apologise to United we stand (yawn) divided we fall. I should have sited greed rather than laziness. Pure GREED is the reason for this strike. I have no intention of going down to the local fire station to meet the mercenaries you call co-workers. Seeing them sitting outside smoking snd laughing rather than working is all I need to know about you lot. As for praying I never need the fire service, I will pray every day after an insight of the type of moronic workers they have if you are their spokesman. I stand by my comment of sacking the lot of you. How hard can it be to find someone who actually wants to serve the public - rather than the current mob who want more money for rescuing cats. Marmite XO
  • Score: -2

5:19pm Tue 15 Jul 14

United we stand divided we fall says...

Bond man and marmite xo. It is clear that neither of you know what the strike is even over, so both of you stop talking rubbish. This strike is not over money you pair or idiots.
Bond man and marmite xo. It is clear that neither of you know what the strike is even over, so both of you stop talking rubbish. This strike is not over money you pair or idiots. United we stand divided we fall
  • Score: 7

6:42pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Station Officer Steele says...

Dear Mr Marmite

Thank you for your kind comments about our firefighters, I do feel the need to answer some of your more salient points in order to clear up some of your misconceptions.

1. Being on a picket line is an unfortunate place to find ourselves, and believe me we do not want to be there as much as you do not want us to be there. I'm sorry if you were offended by us laughing, but we can't help it, some of the people at the station really do have rather good senses of humour. But point taken we shall try harder to be serious during the next strike.

2. Smoking on the picket line. Correct this is totally unacceptable and I shall personally take to task the person/s involved. It is not a good example to set

3. This strike is not about greed, you may be getting confused with the last one in 2002/3 which had the slogan 30K Fire Pay. Yes striking for a 30% payrise may be greedy, but hey, how wouldn't like one of those. Incidentally 12 years on a firefighter is still not on £30,000 pa, so I guess that didn't work out. This is strike is about protecting a pension we were promised when we joined up, please swing by for a leaflet for more information. We'll even give you a free smoke detector!

4. Rescuing cats, again another popular misconception. Yes we do rescue animals, but usually only after a call from the RSPCA. Personally I have only ever rescued 1 cat, and it wasn't grateful so I won't go out of my way to rescue another. But that's cats for you.

Finally I'd like to finish with, that although it seems you have an inner hatred of firefighters, (bad experience at an open day once?) please be rest assured that if you do ever require our services we will treat you impartially and without prejudice.

All the best
Station Officer Steele
Dear Mr Marmite Thank you for your kind comments about our firefighters, I do feel the need to answer some of your more salient points in order to clear up some of your misconceptions. 1. Being on a picket line is an unfortunate place to find ourselves, and believe me we do not want to be there as much as you do not want us to be there. I'm sorry if you were offended by us laughing, but we can't help it, some of the people at the station really do have rather good senses of humour. But point taken we shall try harder to be serious during the next strike. 2. Smoking on the picket line. Correct this is totally unacceptable and I shall personally take to task the person/s involved. It is not a good example to set 3. This strike is not about greed, you may be getting confused with the last one in 2002/3 which had the slogan 30K Fire Pay. Yes striking for a 30% payrise may be greedy, but hey, how wouldn't like one of those. Incidentally 12 years on a firefighter is still not on £30,000 pa, so I guess that didn't work out. This is strike is about protecting a pension we were promised when we joined up, please swing by for a leaflet for more information. We'll even give you a free smoke detector! 4. Rescuing cats, again another popular misconception. Yes we do rescue animals, but usually only after a call from the RSPCA. Personally I have only ever rescued 1 cat, and it wasn't grateful so I won't go out of my way to rescue another. But that's cats for you. Finally I'd like to finish with, that although it seems you have an inner hatred of firefighters, (bad experience at an open day once?) please be rest assured that if you do ever require our services we will treat you impartially and without prejudice. All the best Station Officer Steele Station Officer Steele
  • Score: 15

9:54pm Tue 15 Jul 14

member of public2 says...

As a member of public I looked into why the fire fighters are striking and what I found was disturbing to say the least, in short the fire fighters are not striking for more money but to save what they have paid into all their working lives, Station Officer Steele pointed it all out perfectly, as for Bondman and marmite xo firstly you should find out all the facts before you go shooting your mouths off, they say ignorance is bliss, in this case it is dangerous, secondly I hope you never need the fire fighters to save you or your children from a fire or cut you out of a car, bondman if you did the job for 30 years then you should know what they are fighting for but then you are all right sat on your pension living the life, marmite if you haven't got the nuts to face the fire fighter then you should keep it shut and hope you don't need their help
As a member of public I looked into why the fire fighters are striking and what I found was disturbing to say the least, in short the fire fighters are not striking for more money but to save what they have paid into all their working lives, Station Officer Steele pointed it all out perfectly, as for Bondman and marmite xo firstly you should find out all the facts before you go shooting your mouths off, they say ignorance is bliss, in this case it is dangerous, secondly I hope you never need the fire fighters to save you or your children from a fire or cut you out of a car, bondman if you did the job for 30 years then you should know what they are fighting for but then you are all right sat on your pension living the life, marmite if you haven't got the nuts to face the fire fighter then you should keep it shut and hope you don't need their help member of public2
  • Score: 8

7:46am Wed 16 Jul 14

Member of the public 3 says...

Mmmmm marmite and bondsman you have gone a bit quiet, truth hurts eh!!! As a member of the public i admire our wonderful brave firefighters and think what the government are doing to them is an utter disgrace!! Let's put it this way marmite, if you had saved 100k and the government said they were going to take 40k from you and that you would not be able to receive it until you were sixty, I think you would be pretty cheesed off!! And as for you bondman, how can you have the audacity to slag the firefighters off if you have done 30 years in the fire service, oh yeah you have already retired and sitting on your nice protected money!!!
Mmmmm marmite and bondsman you have gone a bit quiet, truth hurts eh!!! As a member of the public i admire our wonderful brave firefighters and think what the government are doing to them is an utter disgrace!! Let's put it this way marmite, if you had saved 100k and the government said they were going to take 40k from you and that you would not be able to receive it until you were sixty, I think you would be pretty cheesed off!! And as for you bondman, how can you have the audacity to slag the firefighters off if you have done 30 years in the fire service, oh yeah you have already retired and sitting on your nice protected money!!! Member of the public 3
  • Score: 1

8:05am Wed 16 Jul 14

United we stand divided we fall says...

Thank you to the members of the public and Station Officer Steele. It was beginning to feel like I was fighting a lonely battle. As we all go about our daily business can we spare a thought for the fire fighters that feel striking is the only option left for them to get their point heard. Strike times are 6 am till 8 am and 5pm till 7pm. So as you go past a fire station sound your horn to show your support.
Thank you to the members of the public and Station Officer Steele. It was beginning to feel like I was fighting a lonely battle. As we all go about our daily business can we spare a thought for the fire fighters that feel striking is the only option left for them to get their point heard. Strike times are 6 am till 8 am and 5pm till 7pm. So as you go past a fire station sound your horn to show your support. United we stand divided we fall
  • Score: 3

8:18am Wed 16 Jul 14

Member of the public 3 says...

You are more than welcome United, i think the comments from bondman and marmite are appalling but maybe it's ignorance, our firefighters are wonderful people and I hope marmite does not need their services!!! I will certainly be showing my support when I pass the Firestation
You are more than welcome United, i think the comments from bondman and marmite are appalling but maybe it's ignorance, our firefighters are wonderful people and I hope marmite does not need their services!!! I will certainly be showing my support when I pass the Firestation Member of the public 3
  • Score: 3

9:15am Wed 16 Jul 14

member of public2 says...

United, you are not alone, the lonely ones are the mis-informed idiots who shoot their mouths off without thinking ------ Stay together, Win together!!!!!!
United, you are not alone, the lonely ones are the mis-informed idiots who shoot their mouths off without thinking ------ Stay together, Win together!!!!!! member of public2
  • Score: 3

9:51am Wed 16 Jul 14

Marmite XO says...

First of all, thank you Station Officer Steele for an informed post. At least the person in charge of the fire station is not a buffoon. To respond to your valid points

 

1.     You don’t have to be on a picket line. You could always be a shepherd instead of a sheep.

2.     Thank you. I’m sure it was only a roll up and nothing more sinister. Although that may explain the laughter.

3.     I did not realise that fire fighters were paid so badly. However, anyone who pays into a pension after the Maxwell incident is a fool in my opinion.

4.     There must be a story every week on the BFP about a pet getting rescued by fire men. Maybe times have changed since you got your desk job.

 

I have no inner hatred of fire fighters and think they provide a valuable service when they are not striking or moaning about their job.

 

 

As for United we stand divided we fall (zzzzz), member of public2 and Member of the public 3, I think you should let your boss do the talking for you as you do your cause no favours.

 

The reason I have been quiet is I was having to patrol my road as a fire man during your strike. Good to see you had time to set up accounts and post on here whilst I was keeping my street safe – someone has to.
First of all, thank you Station Officer Steele for an informed post. At least the person in charge of the fire station is not a buffoon. To respond to your valid points   1.     You don’t have to be on a picket line. You could always be a shepherd instead of a sheep. 2.     Thank you. I’m sure it was only a roll up and nothing more sinister. Although that may explain the laughter. 3.     I did not realise that fire fighters were paid so badly. However, anyone who pays into a pension after the Maxwell incident is a fool in my opinion. 4.     There must be a story every week on the BFP about a pet getting rescued by fire men. Maybe times have changed since you got your desk job.   I have no inner hatred of fire fighters and think they provide a valuable service when they are not striking or moaning about their job.     As for United we stand divided we fall (zzzzz), member of public2 and Member of the public 3, I think you should let your boss do the talking for you as you do your cause no favours.   The reason I have been quiet is I was having to patrol my road as a fire man during your strike. Good to see you had time to set up accounts and post on here whilst I was keeping my street safe – someone has to. Marmite XO
  • Score: -11

10:50am Sun 20 Jul 14

Monty Cristo says...

So how about an apology then Marmite?
You initially spouted that it was "pure greed" that was behind this strike, then revealingly go on to say that you "didn't realise that they were so badly paid.". Makes you look a bit of an idiot , doesn't it? Even more so if you take the trouble to see exactly how much pension the average firefighter can actually expect in reality.....

As for "anyone who pays into a pension after the Maxwell incident is a fool in my opinion." Potentially a fair point, though one would think that if it is the UK Government doing the promising then it should stand by its promise rather than reneging on it like a conman.

My view is that while public sector pensions may appear to be very generous compared to those in the private sector, the basic salaries are often much lower than in the private sector, so public sector employees have lost out comparatively for donkeys years - a huge amount f money if you compound it up - but they accepted that because their good pensions. Thus reducing their promised pension is disgusting.
Reduce the pensions on offer for new recruits by all means, but for existing employees give them what was promised, nothing less.
So how about an apology then Marmite? You initially spouted that it was "pure greed" that was behind this strike, then revealingly go on to say that you "didn't realise that they were so badly paid.". Makes you look a bit of an idiot , doesn't it? Even more so if you take the trouble to see exactly how much pension the average firefighter can actually expect in reality..... As for "anyone who pays into a pension after the Maxwell incident is a fool in my opinion." Potentially a fair point, though one would think that if it is the UK Government doing the promising then it should stand by its promise rather than reneging on it like a conman. My view is that while public sector pensions may appear to be very generous compared to those in the private sector, the basic salaries are often much lower than in the private sector, so public sector employees have lost out comparatively for donkeys years - a huge amount f money if you compound it up - but they accepted that because their good pensions. Thus reducing their promised pension is disgusting. Reduce the pensions on offer for new recruits by all means, but for existing employees give them what was promised, nothing less. Monty Cristo
  • Score: 0
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