Cleveland Fire Authority has received notification from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) that another period of strike action will take place by firefighters across the Country on Tuesday 24th December between 7.00pm and midnight, Tuesday 31st December between 6.30pm and 00.30am and Friday 3rd January, 2014 between 6.30am and 8.30am.This is a national dispute surrounding pension arrangements between the FBU and Central Government.
Cleveland Fire Authority has contingency arrangements in place to provide emergency cover during periods of disruption. This includes having fully trained and experienced, professional firefighters supported by auxiliary firefighters. The auxiliary firefighters have received training over the last few months in all the activities they will be required to do, in order to support our professional firefighters not involved in strike action.
The FBU have also balloted their members to take action short of strike action and received an 85% yes vote in that ballot earlier this week. The FBU are considering what that action may include and as yet have not made any announcement about what form it will take.
Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer at Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “We are very disappointed that a negotiated settlement still has still not been reached in this national dispute and that further strikes have been announced. The safety of our communities is, and always will be our number one priority, and I can reassure the public we will continue to provide a professional emergency response throughout any period of disruption. We will respond promptly to all emergency calls received and the community volunteers who have come forward to be trained as auxiliary firefighters will play a large part in that response.”
“During previous industrial action our auxiliary firefighters have performed really well, and gained further experience and on the job training.
“Again we are asking members of the public to take extra care in order to reduce the risk of a fire in their homes, businesses and communities. Throughout next week we will provide advice, support and guidance on how to stay safe, so please take some time to access and read this potentially lifesaving information.”
To help keep you, your family and your business safe, you can find safety advice on our website at www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/safety. You can also follow us on Twitter (@clevelandfb) or Facebook (/clevelandfb) and you will receive our news and a weekly reminder to test your smoke alarms.