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24 September 2014
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Have your say on the firefighters' strikes
Soldiers on red fire engines

Firefighters started an eight day strike at 9am on November 22nd.

Do you support their claim? Should the emergency services be banned for striking?

Here's 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.

Do 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?

*latest mail from the top

This page exists as an archive. If you would like to discuss this or other topics with other visitors to the BBC Cornwall website, please visit our new Message Board.

Me 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.

And 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!
John, Falmouth

The firefighters dispute is stupid. They want more pay, they should have more working and less striking.
Rosa Bedingfield, St Ives

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.
Zoe, Scotland

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 all danger!!
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 the danger.

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, Marazio

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, Troon

Firefighters should have a reason able rise, but no strike clause and no unionization.

D Christopher, Springfield, PA USA

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.

A 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.

Some 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 live there.

Currently 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 obscene.
Margaret, Falmouth

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.
V.F.C, Colchester

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.
Matt, Bristol

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 Years
AJS, Bournemouth

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.
Hannah, Cornwall

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%.

Martin, Penzance

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 National Lottery.

Dozy 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.
Rob, Bodmin

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.
Sylvia, Truro

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.
Teresa, Redruth

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.
Kevin, Truro

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.
Jon, Plymouth

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 no shout!!
Jeremy, Nanpean

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 properly paid. 

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 seat decapitated.
Anna  Richards

How can Blair & Co award themselves 40%,when they are public service workers and expect to treat everyone else like mud!!!!!!!!!!
Keefy, Reading

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 fair deal.
Sean, Bristol

40% was never realistic but the offer blocked by the Government last Friday should have been finalised - they deserve a decent rise!
Roger Watson, Tregony
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