Following conflicting emails that have been sent around to FBU members by
managers in DSFRS the FBU want to reiterate and clarify the position regarding
the proposed implementation of the Gartan Availability System on RDS Members in
the Somerset area.
As Members will be aware DSFRS has been attempting to implement a Gartan
availability system on RDS Firefighters in the Somerset area despite their clear
opposition. Following combination the FRS has a number of different RDS systems
and contracts throughout the Service, including Gartan, and management had been
trying to bludgeon through a system to suit themselves despite the serious
contractual concerns of RDS Firefighters. The FBU has always been clear on this
issue: we will not allow management to impose change on our Members contractual
conditions. If management want to implement change then they must do so only by
resolving our Members concerns at the negotiating table.
To be clear: There has been no agreement on this issue.
The FBU has been informed that DSFRS intend to raise this matter at the
Services next Industrial Relations Meeting which is on the 20th January. The FBU
also understand that the Service may request that this matter be dealt with
under Section 6c of the Grey Book which could lead to this matter being referred
to the Joint Secretaries in an attempt to resolve the issue.
As Members will be aware the FBU requested for this to happen in writing on
the 1st August but unfortunately DSFRS did not agree to this at that time.
The FBU wishes to clarify to all Somerset RDS Firefighters that the position
remains the same as outlined at our last RDS meeting held in November and
confirmed in an email to ACFO Smith on the 4th December which stated;
"Somerset Area RDS members are available at all times - 168 hrs per week -
Gartan should show them as available. If it does not at present then please can
you arrange for this to happen?
They have to meet 60 and 40% of all calls during this period.
They are not contractually obliged to declare their availability as per
This in turn means they are not contractually obliged to use the Gartan
No member can be disciplined for not using this system"
The FBU will hold another RDS meeting after the 20th January to update
Members further on this matter. In the interim Members should continue to work
to their current contracts. For further details contact please contact DSFRS FBU
& RDS Officials, numbers on www.southwestfbu.com