FBU members in Surrey are fighting back against cuts and a bullying management culture by undertaking a ballot for Industrial Action, which commences on Monday (18 Nov). I am sure we all want Surrey members and Officials to know they have the full solidarity and support of all FBU members across the UK as they undertake their ballot.
The dispute is being undertaken to fight back against a number of unacceptable management proposals, including the following dangerous cuts to the frontline service:
•A cut of 7 fire appliances at night;
•A cut of 70 frontline firefighter posts as a result;
•Fire Control is already understaffed and about to take on an additional 85% calls when it takes on the calls from West Sussex in a merger, due to commence from 4th December.
We are encouraging all our Regions, Brigades & Branch committees to show their support to Surrey members by sending messages of solidarity to the branches directly affected. All of us who have undertaken local disputes know the powerful impact that messages and letters of support from other areas can have, and I am sure you will want to show your solidarity in this way.
The fire stations which have been targeted to lose appliances at night are:
•Fordbridge Fire Station
•Guildford Fire Station
•Egham Fire Station
•Camberley Fire Station
•Woking Fire Station
•Painshill Fire Station
•Banstead Fire Station
I have therefore attached a document which has the addresses of these fire stations and also of the fire control who face a direct detrimental impact from the management proposals.
Please send letters, notes or other messages of support and solidarity on behalf of your committees to these branches. I would encourage you to do this by posted hard copies which can be held by our branch reps and/or displayed on notice boards etc. As I am sure you will appreciate, the FRS email system is controlled by management and is therefore not an effective way to send messages direct to branches. Such solidarity is in the finest tradition of our Union’s motto ‘Unity is Strength’.
In addition, our Comms Department is currently developing specific social media posts designed to highlight the issues in Surrey and achieve support for the Ballot and subsequent action, if necessary. Please look out for these posts and share them widely across your own networks for the duration of the dispute.
Thanks in advance, the result of the ballot will be posted on the FBU website www.fbu.org.uk on 6th December 2019. If the ballot results in a ‘yes’ vote, the FBU will be prepared to authorise industrial action short of a strike.
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Fire Brigades Union