BREAKING: all 1,250 firefighters in Manchester to be sacked

greater-manchester-fire-and-rescue-serviceFirefighters in Manchester are today in shock at the news they are all to lose their jobs.

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service managers announced plans to sack every frontline firefighter in the area, totalling 1250.  Only those who agree to new imposed conditions of service that will see them working 12-hour shifts will get their jobs back.

The whole process has begun with limited discussion and no agreement from the FBU which represents an estimated 95% of firefighters in the area.

FBU Greater Manchester brigade secretary Gary Keary said: “We are staggered that GMFRS would jeopardise relations with its workforce in this aggressive way.  To start the process for dismissing firefighters to then simply re-engage them on an un-negotiated contract is really appalling, and a serious breach of the agreed mechanisms for industrial relations in the UK fire and rescue service.

“We at the FBU will do everything we can to resolve what could turn into a bitter and damaging dispute using agreed procedures. Since the notice of the sacking proposals was issued, we have been contacted by lots of angry FBU members.  We will continue to consult with them regarding the best way forward.  This is the third change to shift systems in Greater Manchester since 2006 – surely firefighters are entitled to some sort of stability in their working lives.”

Figures released by GMFRS show an increase of 140% in all rescues over the last 12 months, alongside an extremely worrying threefold increase in fire deaths.  Firefighters in the region are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of repeated cuts on public safety.

The proposed new arrangements mean that one in five firefighter posts will be slashed, 250 posts in total, with the remainder having worse conditions imposed on them.  Firefighters would hardly see their families under the new 12-hour shift arrangements.

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