Day Crew Plus - FBU Policy.

Decided at FBU Conference 2011. Moved by Devon & Somerset.


Conference notes the letters sent on 6th April 2011 by Devon & Somerset FRS to all wholetime staff inviting "expressions of interest" from staff wishing to work a new duty system entitled "Day Crew Plus". This system involves reducing the number of wholetime Firefighters on a station by around half by reducing the number of watches from four down to two. The Firefighters who are left will be expected to work between 84 and 96 hours on duty a week.

Conference believes that such a duty system is unprofessional, outdated and unfit for purpose. If implemented such duty systems will mean:

● Massive wholetime Firefighter job losses;

● Resilience in the Service greatly reduced;

● Fewer Firefighters during protracted incidents, particularly in smaller FRS’s;

● Reduction in Fire Cover as neighbouring stations have to provide cover across different areas when Firefighters reach exhaustion point.

Conference notes that the letters requesting “expressions of interest” offer staff a 32% additional allowance to work the system and then go on to state that a “first come first served basis will apply”. The letter further states that if there are insufficient volunteers from wholetime staff then applications from the RDS may be sought. The letter then makes reference to the risk of compulsory redundancy for wholetime staff. Conference believes that the contents of this letter amounts to a crude attempt to try and get Firefighters to sell out their colleagues jobs by offering second rate financial bribes and applying pressure through fear of job losses in an attempt to accept them. Conference condemns such letters as an attempt by Fire Authorities to undermine the Union’s ability to negotiate on behalf of our members and urges all members not to sign any expression of interest.

Conference condemns the devastating impact such duty systems would have on the family lives of Firefighters and believes that such systems are not fit for purpose let alone the 21st century Fire & Rescue Service. They are:

● Outside the Grey Book;

● Outside the Working Time Directive;

● Outside National Pay Rates.

Conference notes that other Fire & Rescue Services have either implemented or are considering implementing similar duty systems and believes that this issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency at a National level.

Conference therefore demands that the Executive Council:

● Tables this issue at the National Joint Council with a view to achieving a joint circular informing Fire & Rescue Services that such systems will not be supported by the NJC;

● Raises this matter with Thompsons seeking urgent legal advice regarding areas such as the Working Time Directive & Equality legislation;

● Sends out a circular to all members informing them of the dangers of such systems and urging them not to sign any “expressions of interest”;

● Considers a strategy of co-ordinated action within the FRSs who are considering the implementation of such Duty Systems.

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