The Fire Brigades Union has responded to the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services State of Fire and Rescue 2022 report.
Matt Wrack, the general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said:
‘The FBU is disappointed with the new State of Fire and Rescue annual report, which continues its ill-judged commitment to the White Paper.
‘The FBU hoped that the Inspectorate, under new leadership would abandon the misguided White Paper that seeks to give chief fire officers a free hand to instruct the workforce, ignoring their contracts of employment and conditions of service. These “reforms” are aimed at undermining the FBU, despite the vast majority of firefighters choosing to belong to the union.
‘HMICFRS has chosen not to listen rank and file firefighters. The FBU would again urge Mr. Cooke to map his own course to achieve what we all want: a properly funded fire service that includes decent resources and fair pay for firefighters, and that reflects the extraordinary job they do.
‘The Inspectorate claims to sympathise with firefighters during this cost of living crisis yet unfortunately provide nothing more than warm words. Firefighters want their contribution to society recognised with a fair pay rise, not continued political attack that seeks to abolish their collective bargaining structures.
‘Mr. Cooke does recognise that services are falling short of response standards they themselves have set and describes a postcode lottery that the FBU has warned about for years. Despite the correct diagnosis, he doesn’t prescribe the correct course of treatment – national standards. Neither does the report address more than a decade of central funding cuts, 11,500 firefighter posts lost and years of pay cuts.’
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