FBU members take another day’s action to protect frontline services as bosses dig in their heels


Essex fire crews are today on strike again over frontline cuts that would see the loss one of one in five crews serving the county.

The action by FBU members begins at 9am and lasts 24 hours, with delegations of firefighters from across the country joining them for a march and rally in Chelmsford during the day.

The union has accepted an invitation from ACAS for a meeting with the employer, but bosses have already made clear the cuts and imposed changes already decided will be pushed through regardless.

FBU Brigade Chair Alan Chinn-Shaw said: “No-one wants to go on strike. We have only done so in what is a third year of continuing cuts in frontline services and imposition. Enough is enough. Strike action is a last resort and we are calling only short periods of lawful strike to limit the risks to the public whilst highlighting the very serious concerns of frontline professionals. Left unchallenged, the frontline cuts would hit public and firefighter safety 24 hours every day, 365 days a year. The position of the employer  leaves no room for compromise.

“The Essex fire authority has the money to spend on firefighters as it has underspent its frontline staffing budget by over £1.6 million. It is also building up huge cash reserves – over £12 million – which are much higher than necessary. Essex MP Eric Pickles has urged all councils to use their financial reserves to temper the impact of frontline cuts. So why won’t they do that in Essex?”

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