The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has written a letter to Unite and other unions calling for support to lobby the Fire Authority against cuts to the service in North Yorkshire. The lobby is taking place on Wednesday 9th December 2015 from 09:30hrs (subject to change) until 12:00hrs outside The Training Centre, Oaklands Way, Easingwold, YO61 3FA. The full text of the letter is given below.
As are so many of you, we are also fighting the cuts within North Yorkshire and have planned a Lobby/Demo of the Fire Authority at their next meeting on 9th December as they vote to move the downgrading of fully crewed WT Fire Appliances at 6 stations. To small vans with just 2 WT firefighters or an option of mixed crewing 2 WT FF’s on a standard pump the remainder of the crew made up of RDS FF’s an overall reduction in whole-time fire-fighter posts by a further 25% across the county. This will see response times increase by between 8mins and 15mins in some areas.
Members in North Yorkshire face proposed changes which will threaten whole-time positions whilst downgrading the level of fire cover which will have a serious impact on fire-fighter and public safety. Placing an additional burden on an RDS system already at breaking point with between 8 and 13 RDS pumps unavailable every day. Making WT reductions without addressing the ongoing RDS concerns around recruitment and retention of RDS Fire-fighters, the reality of increased response times in England’s largest and most rural county will only impact on the current standard of service we provide to the public, whilst also significantly increasing the risk to firefighter safety. Neither can we ignore the threat of proposed changes to working practises including contractual changes such as shift patterns which come hand in hand with these proposals.
Due to our campaigning we are aware some of the Conservative councillors are now starting to feel the pressure and wavering on a decision. We are therefore calling on the help of our fellow Trade Unionists from across the country to come and stand shoulder to shoulder with North Yorkshire members so we can ensure the CFO and local politicians feel the full pressure of the FBU. This is an open invite to ALL officials and members to come along and help us in Conservative heartland, to show them that the power of the Union is stronger than ever.
The lobby is taking place on Wednesday 9th December 2015 from 09:30hrs (subject to change) until 12:00hrs outside The Training Centre, Oaklands Way, Easingwold, YO61 3FA.
Attached is a poster with all the details for your use, as well as NYFBU’s formal response for your info. Please bring along your banners, flags and whistles let’s make sure it’s noisy. If you require anything further please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Yours in unity,
North Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union