Firefighters’ union challenges new minimum service levels regulation

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Government announces minimum service levels for fire and rescue sector

The government has introduced Minimum Service Levels regulations for the fire and rescue service, mandating employers to issue ‘work notices’ to ensure staff attendance on strike days.

The directive requires fire and rescue services to maintain crews for 73% of fire engines and other vehicles during any strike action.

Union decries move as “authoritarian”

Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), has condemned the government’s announcement as an authoritarian measure aimed at curtailing the right to strike within the fire and rescue services.

Wrack stated: “This is an outrageous and authoritarian plan to seek to ban strikes in the Fire and Rescue Service.

“The government wants this in place so that it can attack the pay and conditions of firefighters and other workers.

“It’s one of the worst assaults in the last century on the rights of working people to defend themselves.

“The Fire Brigades Union will resist this dictatorial legislation in every way possible.”

Further criticism of government’s “draconian” regulations

In a follow-up response, Wrack further criticised the government’s regulations as a draconian attempt to ban strike action, labelling it a direct attack on the democratic rights of firefighters, control room staff, and other fire service workers.

He highlighted the impracticality of the requirement that 73% of fire engines must be crewed during any strike action, noting the irony given a decade of budget cuts that have left many fire engines unmanned.

“The Conservative government has announced regulations that amount to a draconian attempt to ban strike action in the fire and rescue service.

“This is a direct attack on the democratic rights of firefighters, control room staff and other fire service workers,” said Wrack.

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