The government has today (12th Dec) set out its plans for the fire and rescue service.
Its response to the consultation on its white paper ‘A profession we can all be proud of – Reforming our Fire & Rescue Service’ was published this afternoon.
Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said:
“The fire and rescue service is in crisis. We have lost one in five frontline firefighter jobs since 2010, and response times are slower than ever before.
“But these proposals will not put a penny back into the fire service or deliver national standards on response times and crewing.
“Plans to scrap collective bargaining and forcibly merge police and fire governance structures have been watered down. But many of the proposals are still dangerous and ill-conceived, and come alongside an authoritarian attempt to ban strike action in our sector.
“Ministers are aiming to empower Chief Fire Officers to dictate how the fire service is run at the expense of democratic accountability, local communities and firefighters themselves. The proposals attack the National Joint Council and (NJC) and pay agreements but offer no evidence for this, making a mockery of the policy process.
“The government should be listening to firefighters. Instead, it seems content to leave the same people who have presided over an era of decline and mismanagement – the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) – in charge.
“The Firefighters’ Manifesto sets out a plan for a modern, resilient fire and rescue service with the resources it needs. We will bitterly oppose further cuts to our service and any attempt to sideline the voice of firefighters.”