South Yorkshire fire crews anger over shift changes

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue HQ, Sheffield.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue HQ, Sheffield.

South Yorkshire fire crews have accused managers of being hell bent on confrontation over moves to impose new shifts.

Submitted by Ed on October 15, 2008

They say there is growing anger among fire crews over new threats to impose new shifts.

Firefighters want to know why there has been no negotiation with their union before South Yorkshire fire authority councillors received the proposals for consideration. The Fire Brigades Union has still not been officially given details of the plans, although full press packs have been sent to the media.

South Yorkshire FBU Brigade Chair John Gilliver said: “These plans came out of the blue despite national agreements about having ‘no surprises’. There is growing anger from firefighters across the County at the threats to impose contractual changes without any negotiation.

“During last year’s floods councillors and managers were applauding our commitment and praising our work. It is a disgrace that managers are now rewarding us by kicking us in the teeth.

“Managers are going out of their way to seek confrontation and not negotiation. They are behaving like dictators rather than professional public sector managers.

“I think the public will be disgusted at the way their firefighters are being treated. We are not looking for a fight, but we’re not going to run away from one either.”

Shift working firefighters typically work two 9 hour day shifts followed by two 15 hour night shifts. This is a total of 48 hours over 4 days, which works out as an average of 42 hours a week. Fire crews start meeting from Monday 13th October to discuss the proposals and their reaction.