Socialist Worker

Tayside Fire Board cuts rejected

by Jim Malone, Brigade secretary FBU Tayside
Issue No. 2147

Councillors at the Tayside Fire Board have overwhelmingly rejected cuts to services proposed by chief fire officer Stephen Hunter.

The decision, which was taken on Monday 30 March, came at the end of a long consultation period during which the FBU firefighters’ union campaigned together with the people of Tayside to retain 24 hour cover, seven days a week at Balmossie Fire Station in East Dundee.

The fire brigade wanted to reduce the number of firefighters at night, and introduce a 12 hour day shift system at three fire stations.

The proposed cuts were bitterly opposed the union, and FBU members were at the forefront of the campaign.

Our petition gathered over 3,000 signatories, and the FBU assisted in getting over 1,600 written responses to the consultation document—the largest in the history of the UK fire service.

During the last weeks of the campaign, and with the opposition to the cuts gaining momentum, an article appeared in the local press attacking the FBU and its officials.

Councillors were outraged at this attempt at union bashing. This is the first important victory over a service plan since the 2002-3 strike.

The FBU are more than aware that the current financial projections for public services are at best difficult.

We know that management will return with more of the same cuts.

We are ready to challenge them.

We have a dedicated membership, willing to carry our arguments to the people. We can win again.

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Article information

Tue 14 Apr 2009, 18:56 BST
Issue No. 2147
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