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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Someone I know has just retired from the fire service, aged 50, and on a very generous pension. Rather than sit around doing fuck all each day he has got himself another well paid job, so now, not only does he have his very generous pension, he's also earning a second wage that some other fucker could well do with. Now I know that no one expects a fireman to be doing front line service until they're 65 - but there's taking the piss, and there's taking the piss.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:21 pm 
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Couldn't agree more, Arne - this happens all the time in education (particularly higher and further education) .. teachers/lecturers 'retire' with a hefty pension and then go back to work as part-time lecturers

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:44 pm 
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According to the press most firemen have a second job anyway. I can't remember which paper (one someone left on the train which I picked up to read) but supposedly they don't want the shift changes as it will interfere with the arrangements they already have to carry out their second jobs.

No idea if that is true as I some areas of the press do a grand job of pushing information that is not always accurate.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:15 am 
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A small minority of Firefighters have a second job. Brian Coleman who is trying to sack every single one of them has three jobs! He had 4 last year on a salary of over £100,000. It's an ideological assault, the press will do everything possible to make you believe that workers striking are the selfish ones. Divide and rule, oldest trick in the book. The very fact that bonfire night is dependent on the fire service shows how crucial a service they provide, and health and safety standards for night time cover must be an essential part of that.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:39 am 
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Can't see a back down for the firefighters - if the area of contention is solely shift patterns - what with other folks suffering a lot worse due to the slash and burn of the spending review - the fact that public opinion has always been on a knife edge - with the media partially responsible for such public opinion.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:36 am 
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God, go out of the room for five minutes and when I come back you've gone all Daily Mail on me! I totally agree with Alan – and I genuinely don't follow the line of some of the arguments.
These shift changes will disadvantage firefighters pay and conditions but will also lead to a drastic cutting of emergency service provision at night, when people are most vulnerable. People are at greater risk of injury and death from fires which occur at night – the death rate from fires at night is double that during the day. I live here and work in the most densely populated borough in London, with the majority of people living in buildings more than four stories high, and I don't want less firefighters on duty at night. The consequences could be devastating for me and my family.
And I think you're getting away from the reason firefighters get good benefits and conditions – their job is to go into burning buildings or the scene of horrible accidents and put themselves at personal risk to rescue and help us and our families. That's why they get good pensions and conditions.
There was a really good article in the Guardian from a firefighter yesterday http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... jobs-lives
Read it, see if somewhere along the line it changes some people's views.
On a quite depressing note, on the third page of a thread about how devastating the spending review is going to be, we're already pontificating about whether people have the right to strike against something they don't believe in and don't want (97% of those who voted too, hardly a minority). Don't hold out much hope of us defeating these disasterous plans if we're sitting in judgement of others like this. And I can promise, when it's your turn, I won't be picking apart your pay, pensions, conditions of work and asking whether you're justified in doing what you do. I'll just pop round with a few teas and a box of biscuits and give you the benefit of the doubt. x


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:00 am 
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If it's the public safety aspect they're so concerned about they've got a funny way of showing it.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:03 am 
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We can't agree on everything Helen.I'm not a union rep,so i get to pick what causes i support.
I read the Guardian article but it didn't change my opinion.She said she "suspects" that management would eventually allow "differential cover", meaning fewer staff on call at night.As most of their work now is attending traffic accidents rather than putting out fires,i'm sure there will be adequate cover for any nightime fires.I also noticed that she called her £1800 take home salary measley!
What i can't get my head around is the shift patterns they are already on are the strangest,most inconvenient shifts i've seen,and they have got used to them.So,two twelve hour days followed by two twelve hour nights followed by four days off,doesn't seem too bad to me.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:28 am 
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It's true, we can't agree on everything. Just to let you know, the cheapest one bedroom flat for rent in our borough costs £210pw, £910 a month – and this is the second poorest borough in London. That would leave £890 a month for council tax, bills, any childcare, food. Depends what your definition of measley is I suppose... x


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:08 pm 
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helenwatson wrote:
God, go out of the room for five minutes and when I come back you've gone all Daily Mail on me! I totally agree with Alan – and I genuinely don't follow the line of some of the arguments.
These shift changes will disadvantage firefighters pay and conditions but will also lead to a drastic cutting of emergency service provision at night, when people are most vulnerable. People are at greater risk of injury and death from fires which occur at night – the death rate from fires at night is double that during the day. I live here and work in the most densely populated borough in London, with the majority of people living in buildings more than four stories high, and I don't want less firefighters on duty at night. The consequences could be devastating for me and my family.
And I think you're getting away from the reason firefighters get good benefits and conditions – their job is to go into burning buildings or the scene of horrible accidents and put themselves at personal risk to rescue and help us and our families. That's why they get good pensions and conditions.
There was a really good article in the Guardian from a firefighter yesterday http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... jobs-lives
Read it, see if somewhere along the line it changes some people's views.
On a quite depressing note, on the third page of a thread about how devastating the spending review is going to be, we're already pontificating about whether people have the right to strike against something they don't believe in and don't want (97% of those who voted too, hardly a minority). Don't hold out much hope of us defeating these disasterous plans if we're sitting in judgement of others like this. And I can promise, when it's your turn, I won't be picking apart your pay, pensions, conditions of work and asking whether you're justified in doing what you do. I'll just pop round with a few teas and a box of biscuits and give you the benefit of the doubt. x


I'll think you will find, from your own carefully selected article, that the 97% were part of a survey - which as I'm sure you know isn't the same thing as a vote.

Just to balance things out here's someone else's views. http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2010/11/fi ... first.html


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:48 pm 
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There are lots of cynical views about Firemen's working practices and some will be exagerated. The one I heard recently is that the 15 hour night shift is ideal for firemen because it allows an extra 3 hours sleep each shift and therefore they can perform second jobs on more days than just the 4 off? True - no idea - but it sounds like it might have some merit?
Do Firemen have second jobs? Is it just a handful? Well my local builder did some work in my house and sub-contracted joinery and tiling jobs to 2 firemen. Perhaps that was a massive coincidence?
Firemen do dangerous jobs and save lives and should be well paid absolutely no doubt about it. They also have a duty to work efficiently in the hours they are employed by the service - everyone else has to - and adjusting their shift patterns can do this.
Having worked in the public sector for over 25 years I know how working practices have developed over time. Strong unions and poor Management - both groups with little or no commercial accumen - agree/concede changes to practices and conditions to gain another change or just to "keep the peace". The consequences of such agreements are not understood and leave organisations stranded with inefficient, costly operations. Unions like the FBU argue against the shift changes not because of genuine safety reasons but because it will mean simply their members will have to be more active over the course of their 4 days on. Such dinosaur unions won't back down on principle even if they understand the logic for the change.
It is this intransigent behavour that led to many former public sector organisations being broken-up and/or sold off.
This won't/can't happen to the Fire Service (?) and the FBU keep on sticking their heels in on this premise. They spoil their image with irresponsible actions such as striking over Bonfire night.
Rant over.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:56 pm 
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Richard Hawley wrote:
katikins wrote:
I tried to explain the consequences of the cuts to my Y11s the day after the spending review - they were absolutely shocked -mainly at the scale and harshness of some cuts, particularly in jobs - over half their parents work in the public sector. I feel sorry for teenagers - they are going to get the brunt of what the doubletake brothers and their cronies are doing to the country. when I was in London last week in Chelsea and Kensington I didn't notice any belt tightening going on - coming back to Sheffield it was pretty obvious.....



the way its looking it will make the 80's look like a picnic cos without investment in the future...........there won't be one.My girls boyfriend has just turned 18 been looking for a job for a year and nothing doing at all,he is as bright as a button and really keen to learn while he earns,pay his way and work hard,he has a great attitude but nothing is happening for him.I would not want to be a young lad now or worse.............a teacher trying to teach them they have a future.............the one hope is that in local elections folks get off their arses and vote them out


The situation for young people is dire...I work in post 16 work based education, we try and find work placements for Apprentices to get kids into work. The funding IS there for training etc. the problem is trying to get employers to take on young people. I recently had over 150 applicants for 7 jobs and had to fairly decide who to shortlist. How do you do that?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:21 pm 
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I ain't getting political on this one - but just want to give you my insight into the Fire Service.
My friend [a traditional labour voter AND councillor and trade unionist] sits on the Fire Service commitee of a very large council and even given his traditional trade union background told me that the fire service in his area was 40% over-manned.
Also, I work in steel bashing and manufacturing and often have to employ temporary drivers due to absence or holidays and 70% the staff provided by agencies are firemen on their days off / or working after spending the night shift sleeping.
Look, you wouldn't get me running into a fire to put it out and I have great respect that these people will do that, but come on get real on this one guys.
By the way 100% of the firemen that have worked for my company through agencies have been top class, dedicated workers but I'm probably earning less than their fiirst job wage so why the f*ck should I subsidise you sleeping your night shift and then working for an agency?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:13 am 
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London Firefighters call off their planned Bonfire Night strike
amid fears for public safety :!:

No Shit Sherlock :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:25 am 
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Probably too late to recoup the sympathy of the public who face various change such as job loss, pay cuts or no pay rise or whatver faces those in employment.

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