SITREP No. 28/2010

July 16, 2010

Inside this issue:

  • Don’t get burnt by Payroll – Check your payslips!
  • 6000 UK firefighters threatened with sack – by blog

Don’t get burnt by Payroll – Check your payslips!

Members are reminded to check their payslips to make sure they are receiving the correct pay. Several members have recently been overpaid, resulting in debts to the Department. While there are protections in the Award as to how the Department handles this situation, making sure you are paid the correct amount is members’ responsibility, and the Department does have the right to recover these debts. The Department can deduct up to 10% of your pay, but must give notice in writing of the repayments it proposes and give members an opportunity to dispute the debt and explain circumstances, such as hardship, that mean the repayments should be smaller than the Department suggests.

6000 UK firefighters threatened with sack – by blog

The UK’s Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has condemned the commissioner of the London Fire Brigade after he made a posting on his personal blog which threatened the entire workforce with the sack if they doesn’t agree to controversial changes to their shift rosters.

Commissioner Dobson revealed in a blog post to staff on 9 July that he will recommend in a paper to be put to political bosses that they terminate the contract of every firefighter if no agreement is reached. In that paper, the commissioner tells fire authority politicians that they should “Commence formal consultation” if talks with the union fail. The commissioner goes on to acknowledge in the paper that such a move would constitute “dismissal”. In his blog post, the commissioner tells staff: “Termination of employment is not a course of action I want to take. It can be avoided.”

The FBU says that the brigade’s plans to introduce 12-hour shifts will wreak havoc on members’ family lives and pave the way for reductions in fire cover.

The union’s regional official Paul Embery said, “We’ve heard stories of companies sacking employees by text, but this must be the first time an employer has threatened to sack people by personal blog. Our members are dedicated, and in many cases very longstanding, employees of the London Fire Brigade. They have devoted their entire careers to protecting the people of London. So for them to turn up for work and be told by their boss, via his personal blog, that they will be sacked if their union does not agree to these detrimental changes is an absolute outrage.

The union says it will launch an immediate ballot for strike action in the event that the brigade imposes unwelcome change.

Jim Casey

State Secretary



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