SITREP 01/2014

January 10, 2014

Protests As 10 London Fire Stations CloseInside this issue:

  • Challenges in 2014
  • London’s fire stations survived the Blitz, but not Boris Johnson’s balance sheet
  • O’Farrell cuts public sector wages… and loses – updated #6

Challenges in 2014

2014 will be another challenging year for the Union. The cuts to the FRNSW budget will get significantly deeper, and the Union will continue agitating to make the consequent station closures a political issue. The Retained Award is yet to be settled, and the Permanent Award will soon expire. The Department wants permanent members to take on a first responder role, but has no additional funding to pay for it.

 But we are also getting closer to the next NSW election in March 2015, when the O’Farrell Government will be held to account. We will use every opportunity, both political and industrial, to defend our job from these wild eyed economic rationalists. As always, if we remain united these fights are ours to win. 

London’s fire stations survived the Blitz,
but not Boris Johnson’s balance sheet

Ten London fire stations which between them have stood for 855 years, protecting and rescuing generations of Londoners from Zeppelin raids, train crashes, terrorist attacks, the Luftwaffe and countless major fires, closed today. They survived the Blitz, but not Boris Johnson’s balance sheet.

The mayor is shedding 588 frontline firefighter posts and 16 fire engines, too, in a brutal assault on the operational capacity of the London Fire Brigade. He has instructed brigade managers to save £45million over two years.

The experience in London dovetails with the national picture. Across the United Kingdom, scores of fire stations are facing closure. Since the general election in 2010, 1,500 frontline firefighter posts have been lost, with a further 6,000 set to disappear by 2015. Response times have worsened significantly over the last decade.

Despite the opposition of 94% of Londoners who took part in a public consultation process, as well as that of the London Assembly and the London fire authority, Boris Johnson forced his cuts through. Blood will be on his hands when – because it will be when and not if – someone dies because a fire engine did not arrive in time.

(Note: This item is taken from an article by the UK Fire Brigades Union (FBU) Regional Secretary, Paul Embery, to coincide with yesterday’s station closures. A link to the full article can be found

O’Farrell cuts public sector wages … and loses – update #6

SITREP 49/2013 reported on the IRC ruling that last July’s extra 0.25% in super is payable in addition to, and not as part of, public sector wage rises. The O’Farrell Government responded to that latest setback two days before Christmas by publishing a new regulation to force the IRC to deduct the super increase from the annual 2.5% wage increase. More to follow.

Jim Casey
State Secretary



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