TO: ALL MEMBERS - DEVON & SOMERSET FIRE BRIGADES UMION
6 August 2013
Dear Brother / Sister
OVERWHELMING OPPOSITION IGNORED TO PUSH THROUGH CORPORATE PLAN
I am writing to you following the recent Fire Authority meeting where, in a series of close votes, substantial and, in our view, dangerous cuts to the frontline of our Service were passed. The cuts were passed in the face of overwhelming public opposition and followed a consultation process which saw over 27,000 members of the public sign petitions against cuts and mobilised overwhelming political and civic opposition to the plans. This makes a travesty of the consultation process and it was clear that a small majority of the Fire Authority weren’t there to represent the views of their constituents or the fire and rescue service, but to implement cuts despite overwhelming public and professional opposition.
Immediately after the Fire Authority meeting, the FBU contacted the Chief Fire Officer on behalf of all FBU members and demanded urgent talks regarding this decision. However, despite receiving reassurances that these talks would take place we have received reports that managers are attempting to open up talks at a local level in an apparent attempt to implement these cuts as quickly as possible.
This is clearly unacceptable and could prove to be highly detrimental to our hard fought for conditions of service. If cuts are forced through quickly at a local level it will undermine the Union’s ability to negotiate collectively, on behalf of everyone, and can only be bad for the Service overall. If members are approached in this way, at either a watch or station level, they should refer management to the FBU at a Brigade level in order to protect the interests of us all.
I can assure you that the FBU, as your Union, is committed to representing you and fighting on your behalf and we need every member to play their part and stay united in the face of the serious challenges we currently face.