Have your say on the firefighters' strikes
on red fire engines
started an eight day strike at 9am on November 22nd.
you support their claim? Should the emergency services be banned
your chance to have your say on the firefighters dispute. The
firefighters started their second strike of the current dispute
on November 22 at 9am. Further strikes are planned for December
4-12 and 16-24.
you feel the firefighters are right in their pay claim for 40%?
Do you feel they should be awarded a lower figure? Should the
emergency services negotiate deals which include no-strike agreements?
mail from the top
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again. I know I've already made a comment, but I'd like
to comment on what John Greig said. I believe he's right
in every way I believe I was right.
as for all you other people who think we're wrong - well,
you're entitled to your own opinion, but I say; Get on with
it, you firefighters reading this! Get on, work harder and
stop striking and you might get somewhere!
Rosa Bedingfield, St Ives
I hope the firefighters win a decent rise. Its about time
the uk government started treating it's emergency services
properly. If the firefighters get recognition, those of us
in Her Majesty's Coastguard might benefit. Compare this to
the firefighters wage: £4.70 per hour after 10 years service.
Not much above the national minumum wage! We do get 25% shift
allowance if we work shifts, but it's still pitiful in comparison
with the firefighters current wage!
The firefighters dispute is stupid. They want more pay, they
should have more working and less striking.
I think that the fireman should get better wages. The government
are wrong to give them so little but the fireman should not
ask for so much.
I say you ought to be ashamed leave your jobs and let the
people that would be proud to serve the fire service , and
get a fair pay of £20,000+ . Wake up and see what the pay
is here in Cornwall!! You should be grateful for the amount
of work you do. I know because I once worked for a emergency
service , I saw how hard a firefightere works , and its not
fred jago, redruth cornwall
i am starting to get really annoyed by people saying firefighters
are lazy, and only work a couple of days a week,and get to
sleep on night shifts. My last 15 hour night shift, i spent
no time at all in bed, we attended a major chemical incident,
a house fire where 2 small children needed rescuing and a
car crash where 2 people needed cutting free.
These incidents called upon every aspect of our training.
Let me tell you, being in a burning house, where temperatures
are exceeding 800 degrees, and where visibilty is zero, and
the floor is giving way beneath your feet is not a nice experience
at all, and it is made worse by the fact two children are
calling for help and you have only minutes to save them. Will
the people of the public please recognise the work we do to
protect you, and realise that a pay increase to take us to
8.50 an hour is not greedy but purely making the money equal
Every firefighter joined knowing the poor levels of pay, but
joined anyway because of the respect for the job and the satisfaction
it gives. Now the opportunity has arisen for better pay, we
have decided to go for it, we do not want to strike but have
been forced into it by the government who fail to recognise
the job we do. I would also like to add that every firefighter
has full respect for the soldiers covering us. They deserve
praise, and maybe a decent wage for them as well mr.prescott!!!
Andy Wilkinson, cornwall
The striking firefighters have withdrawn their labour, and
should therefore be removed from their employment and replaced
by those who will work responsibly.
John Greig, Marazion
These brave people go about their everyday jobs willing to
risk their lives to save others....the receive very little
recognition for this....the government ministers who agree
with the low pay would not even get out of bed for the money
the firefighters are paid....i have a job answering phones
for customers services with a large company and i earn £9.71
per hour and i am not saving/or risking a life in the course
of my job so HOW can that be right....
Sharon Smith, Risca, Newport
Retained firefighters obviously work brilliantly in Cornwall
and elsewhere. Extend their use. The full-time firemen should
be on the same footing as the police and the armed services:
no strike option, but a remuneration that reflects their training/value
to the community. These days every household/business should
be required by their insurance company to adhere to strict
fire-precaution limitations,including restrictions on heating
oil for cooking and certain types of live-fire burning. Taking
it further, an insurance company could refuse to cover circumstances
where cigarette/pipe smoking and other use of a naked flame
might be the origin of a fire.
Brian Oaten, Trebetherick
About the firefighters strike I know they do a dangours job
but this dipute is becomming a battle of wills between the
firefighters and the goverment why cant they get around the
table and get this settled. Imean what is this dispute about?
Is it money or working practice? I have lost track about this
dispute. I heard an interview with a fireman and he never
mentioned money all was going on about putting the public
at risk from what? Could you tell me? Martin,
Firefighters should have a reason able rise, but no strike
clause and no unionization.
D Christopher, Springfield,
When will people commenting on this subject get their facts
right. Firefighters work 2 day 2 nights and then have 3
days & 15 hours off. this equate to 42 hours per week, they
do not work for half a year and then have half a year off,
if they did it would mean that all of those who work 37
hours a week have even more than half a year off.
Firefighter after 5 year service & qualifying is on £21.531,
he/she will remain on this until they have completed 15
years service when it will rise to £22,491, a rise of £960.
During the same period a Police Officers pay will have increased
by nearly £10,000 with annual increments.
people are saying 40% is an obsene figure but when you think
this is not claim for 1 years rise, it is to catch up for
the last 10 years it is not much. It is actually an increase
of £3.93 per hour before tax. Most Firefighters would accept
an increase of 16% and a new formula which works out to
£1.57 per hour. London weighting need to be sorted out as
well to help those who work in this area so they can also
they receive approx £3,000 per year, Compare this with the
£6,000 the Police get in London plus free transport you
can then see the dificulties the firefighters are in.
Jim Wade, UK
If firemen can't manage on 21k per year, perhaps they should
be given money management courses. Their claim for 40% is
Firefighters are important
Fisherman are important
Farmers are important
Doctors are important
Nurses are important
Police are important
Soldiers are important
Seaman are important
Every person is important to someone. and to us all,at some
time or another and we evaluate the degree of importance in
relation to our particular need. ie are we drowning, burning,
victim of crime, being defended by our army. etc. etc. So
I do not think the reason "I am important to Society" should
be used in any pay negotiations.
I think that the fire fighters are worth a pay rise. Lets
not for get the lads that are covering for them. There are
soliders out there that are being paid more than 50% less
than the basic fireman! How can that be right. You ask that
British Forces put their lives on the line so that people
can sit about in the comfort.
When will people stop being greedy,don't the firemen realise
that by asking for the ridiculous 40% they have turned the
public against them. The more they get the higher the rates
we all have to pay. As an OAP I would like even 15% but
I am not greedy. And I was a Trade Union Official for 15
No I and my family think that it is so stupid to go on strike,
i mean when they joined to be in the service, they knew what
the risks were going to be !!!!!!!!
Lawrie Richardson, Penzance
I think it is really selfish what they are doing they chose
their job because they enjoyed it and now they want everyone
to pay extra taxes just so they can have extra in their wage
packets. I think if you want more money get another job thats
what the rest of us have to do.
The Firefighters work 4 days on and then get 4 days off.
In a county where the average wage is £15,600 per year,
£21,000 per year for working half a year aint bad. The Fire
fighters deserve the same rise as everyone else 3-4%.
There are alot of jobs where a lot more lives are lost than
firemen. I agree they do a marvellous job, but I wish I could
have a rise of 5% let alone 40%.
Keith Newton, Penzance
Give the fire fighters a decent wage, but link it to modernisation
i.e. a proper shift system, and no restrictive practices.
They should like the police have no right to strike and no
right to be in a trade union. The pay off is better pay and
index linked awards. We should recognise that many of the
firefighters want to follow the example of White watch in
Plymstock who had to leave their union to better serve the
community in taking on paramedic skills. Yes to professional
fire fighters, NO to the FBU
Mike, St Austell
I think the money for the Firemen should be supplid from the
Old Cockney, Prah by beau bells
I for one am appalled by the actions of the striking firefighters
towards the four firefighters that are working on white watch.
The choice of the four to work and to save lives is their
choice. To hound and abuse them the way that the striking
firefighters have is truly appalling. I wonder how they will
be treated by their so called team mates when the current
strike is over. I never thought that I would see this attitude
appear in this strike, these men have trusted each other with
their lives in the past, will they in the future??
David Hendry, St Austell
I think men and women who work for the fire service do a brilliant
job, but a rise of 40% is just asking too much. I support
a rise but a realistic one. As far as I know we don't have
any problems with employing firemen/women and they do understand
the risks before they join.
Abi Boggis, St.Austell
i heard on the news today a firman saying he is loosing money,
his night shift pay was £150 per night , im an nhs worker
and have dedicated ancillary staff who work with me who have
been in the service for 20yrs who earn that money for 39hrs
work , get a reality check .These workers are on less than
£9.5k a year and to hear the firemen saying they cant survive
on £21k you have no support from me and my fellow low paid
hospital workers Who will have to fund your pay? these workers
and others like them.
Many people in the South West would love a salary of £21,000
Many who have to support families are far less. I think the
firefighters are asking too much.
Cancel the war, put a ceiling on top salaries and pay the
firefighters properly. Run society for the benefit of ordinary
people instead of for the establishment.
Jennifer Camden, Bodmin
Everyone, regardless of what they do, deserves a pay rise.
In the current political and financial climate, 40%, even
16% is unrealistic. Most people will be lucky to see a 3%
rise. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, doctors, nurses, paramedics,
etc etc - the list is endless, put their lives on the line
every day. Fireman are not unique. They knew the risks when
they applied for the job.
The Firefighters are not worth 40 or 16% maybe five at the
most. If they get anywhere near 16% we will be faced with
runaway wage claims from other workers and possible tax increases.
The fire sevice also needs a major overhall regarding working
practices and manning levels.
I am a serving submariner, trained to put fires out onboard
a submarine. i understand the reasons for the firemans strike
but, why, when there is only just enough people to crew our
boats, are we being pulled into this ugly fight. The firemen
are not the only ones who risk their lives every time they
go to work.It's just that some of us do it for different reasons.
I hope they sort it out asap as i'm tired of doing nothing
all day long in my temperary fire station. 5 days and still
I fully support the fire brigade in this appalling situation.
The government had plenty of opportunity to come to an agreement
back in the summer. They appear to be deliberately setting
various groups against each other. Why? Any man/women who
risks their life, with the loss to their families, and also
experiences the horrors they see whilst working, should be
My cousin spent over 20yrs as a fireman, he still has nightmares
about cutting dead children out of cars on the A30, especially
in the holiday season. It was almost a relief to get a genuine
fire call out. How would John Prescott and the chancellor
feel if they regularly had to cut a critically injured parent
out of a car whilst trying to keep up their spirits when they
the parents child is dead. Or calm a child because any upset
would cause further injury, when their mother is in the front
How can Blair & Co award themselves 40%,when they are public
service workers and expect to treat everyone else like mud!!!!!!!!!!
I think the firefighters are worth every penny. The quickest
way to end this dispute would be for the government to pay
them £30,000: I'm sure they're worth more than that. It's
just typical of our tight-fisted government that they can
find £40,000,000,000 to pay for Trident up front plus £1,500,000,000
per year to keep it afloat, not to mention all the other military
commitments of this fair country e.g. £1,000,000,000 per year
since 1991 for the Iraqi 'no-fly-zone'. Yet apparently they
can't allocate £16,000,000,000 to give the firefighters a
40% was never realistic but the offer blocked by the Government
last Friday should have been finalised - they deserve a decent
Roger Watson, Tregony