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Should the Fire Service and Blue light services be allowed to Strike?


Blue light/Healthcare strikes  

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For those not in the know, here in the UK, Police and Ambulance (and Nurses and Doctors) aren't allowed to Strike because of their "Duty of Care". They can "Work to Rule" which means they won't work overtime etc, but haven't done that in a long time either.

 

Yet Firemen can and do strike and are doing so again! One of the reasons they are striking now is because they are being told that they will have to work to 60 before retiring, something already brought in with the Police and Healthcare profession.

 

Does anyone know why they don't have the duty of care that other blue light services do? Is it something to do with their roots?

 

In todays world of cuts, Nurses have to pay in 25% extra into their pensions to get 33% less at the end. Police have had similar cuts to their pensions. Police, Nurses and Firemen are expected or going to be in the case of Firemen) to work to 60 to retire, when at 55 it is virtually impossible to pass the strict tests done for fitness and strength. Nurses and Police are expected to do many hours for free pre and post shift as there is no money to pay them overtime yet they have to do paperwork and hand overs etc. Should they be allowed to fight these terms, or should they not?

 

So Should other blue light and healthcare professionals be allowed to strike to protect their rights?

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Most cops I know (a few) are in the Force long term due to the amazing pension they get, I'm pretty sure it's a final salary scheme still and with a significant lump sum on early retirement. I'm certa

No, same as with the Armed Forces. You know the rules about striking when you join and putting peoples lives at risk over your employment terms and conditions isn't fair. 

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Yes,the withdrawal of labour is a basic human right. But for the Unions and the threat of industrial action we would be back in the dark ages of no minimum wage, dangerous working conditions and no pay equality.  

 

Re Firefighters - The Govt can bring back the Green Godesses, well they could if they hadn't sold them. In the meantime this is all we're left with...    

 

 

 

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Edited by Bazza 907
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Strike no, work to rule yes.

I've seen what some of the boys in blue have to do. I think it unfair to keep changing things without them having any say or comeback.

I have CDO, it's like OCD but all the letters are in alphabetical order, AS THEY SHOULD BE !

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Their basic human right to withdraw labour is unaffected, if they feel so strongly that they wish to they can leave, it's not that they are tied to working there.

The bit about pensions etc, I believe it's more about bringing them into line with those of the private sector.

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Yes they should all be allowed to strike. Police, the lot.... unfortunately those in power have repeatedly proved that they only listen when their profits, income stream or public political image is threatened.

 

When I see the massive amounts some people earn in jobs where they neither save lives and certainly don`t  have to risk their lives, (indeed may be completely useless -"Public Relations" anyone ? anything police firemen nurses do in defence of their reasonable interests and right to a comfortable life outside work,  is ok  !

 

If people think this would be disruptive they obviously haven`t seen that film of striking French firemen turning their hoses on the soldiers brought in to break their strike. If that happened here you`d have utter panic by those in power, yet the French would find it just part of the rough and tumble of politics over real issues.

(Personally I`d prefer a bit more militancy at the spivs and profiteers comprehensively ripping off the ordinary taxpayer though the big banks, PFI, train company fare rises, energy price rises etc.     

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If they don't like it then leave. At then end of the day it's the tax payers that'll foot the bill for this one way or another, time for some more Thatcher style union busting ...

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Most cops I know (a few) are in the Force long term due to the amazing pension they get, I'm pretty sure it's a final salary scheme still and with a significant lump sum on early retirement. I'm certainly not saying they don't deserve it,  but they don't do badly in the big scheme compared to many other professions in the private sector.

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It may sound harsh but folk should not trot out the "they save lives everyday argument".  

 

Anyone remember North Staffs and its standard of nursing and doctor care anyone?

 

Or these:

 

from the Health Minister, Mr Hunt told MPs: "No statistics are perfect but mortality rates suggest that since 2005, thousands more people may have died than would normally be expected at the 14 trusts reviewed.

 

Hospitals now in special measures:

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Medway NHS Foundation Trust.

 

 

How about the blind man who got tasered because they thought his white stick was a samurai sword?

How about institutional racism in the Met?

 

The police have a long list of scandals to their name:

 

Death of Blair peach

The Battle of the Beanfield

The Cardiff five

The Birmingham Six

The notorious criminal exploits of the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad

The Guildford Four and Maguire Seven

The killing of Jean Charles De Menezes

Public Disorder – Plain Clothes police thugs smash up a victims car with baseball bats… and get away with it

Battle of Orgreave

Death of Ian Tomlinson

Hillsborough Disaster – Police smearing of victims.

 

The point is these civil servants overall have a decent wage and final salary pension system compared to those in private sector employment. Paying them a lot more when they repeated fail the public wont wash with the average tax payer.

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Wrong Alex, wrong wrongity wrong wrong. Not saying Police pension is bad and, after about 5 years service their wage is half decent. But Nurses? Really?

 

So a Private sector worker spends 3 years getting a First class Hons degree in a useful subject (we're talking similar to Accountants and solicitors), working for free with student status while studying (You have to ) then studying constantly to keep up with new trends, treatments etc. Doing 14 hour days (only paid for 12) has to pay his own car parking despite his place of work having a staff car park and gets a 3% pay increase in 5 years.......AND then his salary after 5 years as a Senior member of staff? £24,000 a year. 

 

I don't know many professional professions in the private sector who's terms are that shocking. BTW, after 25 years in the job the pension for a nurse is around £6500 a year. It was nearer £8000 but the govt cut that when they increased their pension contribution by 33%.

 

I know the Police etc do it for a living and am not going to argue about them or the fire service but Nurses, those people who look after you DESPITE the cuts and lack of staffing and guidance deserve a huge amount of respect for staying in the profession. The reason they don't leave is that it takes a certain kind of person to do that job and that's one who cares and wants to care for others. It's their vocation, not job. That doesn't mean they should be an easy target to successive governments.

Like Dan says, it's crazy we have Salesmen, Accountants etc on £50-100k a year when our Nurses are on £24k and Police on £30. It should be the other way round.

 


 

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Agree with kimbers here, both nurses and police getting cuts and having to put up with all sorts of crap.

 

Both jobs are usually done by people who want to help, not for the money, but you gotta live !

 

They will be asking people to do it for free soon ! :unworthy:

I have CDO, it's like OCD but all the letters are in alphabetical order, AS THEY SHOULD BE !

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Or recruiting additional special constables as they call it now

They would have to be VERY special* to do it for nothing.

 

 

 

* or mad.

Edited by Whirlybird

I have CDO, it's like OCD but all the letters are in alphabetical order, AS THEY SHOULD BE !

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MAd as bloody hatters the lot of them! :harhar:

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Lets have some figures:

 

The Office for National Statistics said the average public sector worker, who works full-time, is paid an annual salary of £28,802. This average public sector worker, including teachers, nurses and civil servants, earns nearly £4,000 a year more than a private sector worker. By comparison, the average full-time worker in the private sector receives a salary of only £25,000, a gap of £3,802. This could cover the cost of a two-week foreign holiday for a family of four, or nearly 40 trips to the supermarket spending an average of £100 on each visit.

 

The average Public Sector Worker works 30.5h per week, the average private sector worker works 33.5h per week.

 

Its true, the top 1% of earners in the private sector are at more than £62.08 per hour. In the public sector it's less - £49.37 per hour and above.

 

The median average salary-linked public sector pension,  that is currently being paid out to a pensioner, is worth £5,600 a year. That compares with £5,860 in the private sector, according to the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).

 

Using a mean average, some £7,800 a year is being paid in a public sector pension compared with £7,467 for a private sector salary-linked pension. But this is where a comparison becomes tricky.

Some 87% of public sector employees are currently paying into a salary-linked pension scheme, compared with 12% of private sector employees. Many of the salary-linked pension schemes in the private sector have been shut by employers. Instead, 32% of the private sector workforce, including the self-employed, contribute to personal pensions and other schemes where there is no promise of a particular level of retirement income.

 

Figures showed that the average annual police officer pension is £15,600 ­compared with £7,500 for an NHS worker, £8,800 for the Armed Forces and £10,800 for a teacher.

 

So the public sector is on average better off than your average worker in the private sector.

 

 

 

 

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No they shouldn't.

No sympathy for them at all. Same goes for the upcoming postal strike that's being balloted for.......

Should be glad they've got well paid jobs with good benefits.

My only real experience with strikes are that of people who do as little work as they can get away with and get pissed off when they get asked to do a full days work in the role they are already being paid to do.

The unions are run by childish ass's a lot of whom are bullies and just like to fight for fighting sake.

If you want to strike that's fine. Go look for another job as cushy as the one you've already got!

Don't start me on nurses either.....!

Yes some of them work hard, yes some I then are conscientious, yes some of them are kind hearted and caring.......

It's their blooming job! There's more than the fair share of lazy nurses too who bum off with as little work as possible and fill their pockets with drugs to take home, and moan how hard their life is.....

Fire fighters, sit down, watch TV, sleep, pump some iron, do the odd call out, high percentage of which are fake calls, do the odd call which is dangerous and high profile, of which is the reason they get paid in the first place, then again moan that they have to do more work in the hours they are already paid to work and the fact that working harder in work means they canst sleep as much an therefore do their second jobs proficiently enough!

The people who strike the most are nearly always the ones on the easiest number just tryin to protect their right to do as little as possible.

Sick pay? Hell yeah, let's give you 6months full pay!

Maternity or adoption leave, whoppie, 6 months off full pay again, 3 months half pay and job held for you for 12 months! How's that?

Fancy a holiday? Damn right! Ok we'll give you over a month off full pay just cause we're so kind!

One little thing we'd like off you in return please..... Could you do a full days work without moaning about how hard done by you are please, you know, like work all day except for your breaks, you know, like not sit around with your feet up or talking with your mates on the phone all the time? Like be proactive? What do you mean "fuck no?"

Oh I see, we're being too hard on you, how about you go on strike cause were so mean! Oh how can we change to be more accommodating oh faithful hard workers of ours!

Oh, when the strike is over please come back to work and do as little as you did before, please please please.

Oh and maybe you could consider working to rule instead of striking please. If your not sure how that works either ask your union rep or follow the guide lines following.

Work to rule.

1. Do less work than your already not doing.

2. Moan about how tough your job is as no one else quite understands how much hard work it is working 4 hours a day whilst being paid for 9.

3. If a manager asks you to do something you should already be doing, say NO! How dare they expect you to do even the bare minimum whist your working to rule.

4. Tell your boss he's a [email protected] or asking you to do such and about how much better the place would be without him/her.

5. Most importantly, keep telling everyone you know how horrible it is to work where you do and that they'll never really get it.

Seriously, how the hell this country is still functioning like this is completely mind boggling!

Thanks for listening!

P.S. Support your local fire fighters, whoop whoop, awesome! And when they rescue you from and burning house don't forget to have brass statues made of each and every one of the and worship them in a cult like manor for they are hose wielding water gods of the earth and should be honored and lorded!

Chunky Lover

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Everyone has their own right to act in an appropriate and responsible manner. It does not matter whether you agree or not. If I believed my livelihood is affected I don't require anyone's permission or understanding to act. I don't really give a damn what anyone else thinks.

 

The so called informed majority are very rarely those who work in these roles and take the moral high ground. I'm sure you would act just as you preach in the event that your own financial position is threatened ?

 

Nope I doubt it.

 

I don't agree with the majority in this post, but hey its not a popularity contest.

 

My family in previous generations come from the very poor and lived through the struggles. Strangely enough, the only people who didn't give a damn then, were those who were not affected, because they had a decent wage.

 

Its seems the modern generation take for granted what our forefathers fought so desperately for. 

Caught between a rock and a hard place in a catch 22 situation, So its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Your damned if you do, but your damned if you don't so shut your cock!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tough one this. I've always been anti Union and anti strike. Certain job roles specifically know they cant strike before taking the job, so one half of me thinks, If they dissagree, they are in the wrong job to start. The only Union I was a member of was many years ago when I worked for an Insurance Company. (Day I started I was advised to join Union when I was a 17 year old, wouldn't say boo to a goose new boy) paid my subs for a couple of years before being made redundant - Union was a complete waist of space. Union rep spent his life down the pub and on a fag brake and thats unfortunately all I think about when I hear the word Union. The other half of me thinks they do a mighty tough job and should be paid a higher salary, better pension - they are 'life savers' and should get benefits and be remunerated accordingly, but should they strike? In my opinion, No. As soon as they do, they will lose any support I have for them.

The Police still have a Final Salary scheme which is a 30ths scheme. (ie work 30 years and retire on full Pension for life) Very nice indeed if you can get it. Pall of mine has just retired from the Police, full Pension at the age of 47 - I'm only jelous a bit, well alright loads then!

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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Fireman aren't paid for what they do... I.e. Training, gym, watching tv etc etc ..... But they are paid for what they may HAVE TO DO !!!!

I've a friend in the fire service the list is endless but here's just a few:

Pulled three small kids out of a burning house in one lift whilst a burning a protective layer of his own eyes !! He wore shades for 3 weeks after.

1st week in the job put a car fire out to find a body burnt to a crisp.

Worst of all a college of his got crushed in a building and died a few weeks ago in Manchester simply dousing down a fire set going by kids for no reason other than there selfish entertainment.

I wouldn't want to do any of that, besides the un social 2days and 2 nights a week 4 on 4 off across 7 days a week. The job pays well but you can earn more in car sales?

The main reason he and others joined was the retirement at 55? Now that's gone the jobs lost a huge benefit, after all were all at work for money at the end of the day, the sooner you can put your feet up the better.

The whole public sector is cutting back quite rightfully but the pensiond isnt the way to do it, my mrs is a teacher, got a massive student loan to fund the required degree course spent three years afterwards working supply teacher and topping her wage up at Asda, finally got the full time job....... All with a view to that key 55 year old pension.... Now it's 67, her contribution is about to double and we've no idea what pension she could get if we even see our late 60's..... My point is she would have been better off selling cars and wouldn't have had the 5 year slog as well as 12k loan that likely never to be paid off.

We're most likely to pull out of her teacher pension and save the money our selves, it's enough to buy a terraced house over 25 years (lancashire) and rent it out to help pay for its self then cash in at the end, that way if we did cark it before retirement age our little lad will see a benefit from it rather than it land back in the government pot.

Rant over ha ha

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I think that anything that is promised and then taken away is a poor show on the employers (governments) part. If it were in the private sector - you would have a mutiny on your hands. The only reason the government has the sympathy of the population is because of the state of the nation - caused by the governments both past present and no doubt the future.

 

If you were promised a job where you had retirement at this time, this wage, healthcare, prospect of promotion, benefits and the like and then were told it was all being taken away or changed and removed - you would probably be justified in being angry if this did not happen - or the goalposts were moved.

 

I had that happen -  in the private sector - and you vote with your feet and leave (which is what I did). In the public sector you have a middle ground of striking - although be under no misapprehension that there will also be some firefighters who resign too. Don't forget striking is not an easy option - you don't get paid - therefore many firefighters will be short during the action - as we were in the 70's when my father went out on strike and we didn't have a pot to pee in. The point is if you work in the private sector you can take a new job that "could" pay another 20% or you may get better benefits - for the same responsibility - in the fire service - it is what it is - a small increase each year and a pension at the end. There are no shortcuts - no jumping to another station to get more money (unless you are promoted) - it is what it is.  

 

I have a great deal of empathy for the fire service. They have had their crews reduced to dangerously low levels over the past 20 years, stations have been closed, fire engines removed - and not once has the public mentioned that safety is being risked. So one could argue that each of the crews are now having to do a lot more than they did before. They are also heavily reliant on retained crews - who, nowadays simply don't exist during working hours - as many people don't work in the towns they live in - and those that do - no longer have the support of their workplace - as they did 20 or so years ago.

 

It has already been said that firefighters do a job that most of us wouldn't want to do - as do all of the emergency services. Do I think striking is a good thing - NO! But it is better than having your workforce leave and not come back - it is a cry for help and a request for support. I do however believe it is a risky thing at the moment - in a recession - when everyone is feeling the pinch - to moan about pay and conditions.

 

I don't think that the unions are doing a good job educating the public about the situation - however - I fully support the strike action - as it is not the mimsy thing to do. I do not support people's lives being put at risk but I think you will find that most stations are still responding to emergency calls. I think it is a right and a middle ground to strike and show disapproval and I would call on you to think about whether just stopping people striking makes it all OK - as your safety is already being put at risks with cutbacks to the services.

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Are more people dying in fires as a result of the cuts?

 

PS I've a pal who's a fireman in Brixton. Worse job he has to do is the jumpers at the tube, he says they get quite chopped up  :sick:

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More people are being put at risk. The crews in our areas have been halved - which means half of the machines are not manned but fulltime firefighters. Therefore if you are the poor unfortunate who calls 999 after the hoaxer - be prepared for a longer wait time! Jumpers in the tube - nasty!

Edited by rizla603104
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I also don't think I'd want a 67 year old firefighter carrying me! I also meant to say that they are also moving the goalposts on physical fitness at the same time. As I understand it - there used to be a sliding scale of awarding fitness - the older you get i.e you get more age points the older you got - to ensure that you maintain an achievable level of fitness throughout your career. They have now levelled out that line to say you technically have to be as fit at 67 as you were at 20? So then potentially they can get you out because you are not fit to serve anymore! That's the information they don't articulate on the news.

Edited by rizla603104
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