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Fire Chief Urges People To Avoid Holding Bonfires On Strike Day

Wednesday October 30 2013




A FIRE chief is urging people to avoid holding bonfires and firework displays before the weekend - to avoid coinciding with firefighters taking strike action.

The strike is planned for November 1 and they're worried there could be a lack of cover if bonfire and firework displays are held early.

South Yorkshire bosses have admitted the emergency response service will be 'severely reduced' on Friday night when firefighters walk out between 6.30pm and 11pm, as part of a national day of action called by the Fire Brigades Union.

Jamie Courtney, chief fire officer, said he wants fire engines to be kept available for life-threatening calls only during the strikes.

"Don’t hold your bonfire or fireworks display on Friday night," he said. "We’re satisfied with the contingency arrangements we're putting in place but our 999 service will still be severely depleted so we need the public to help keep our fire engines available for real emergencies.

"Our best advice is to either attend an organised, public event or hold your display on another night, following all of our usual advice to make sure bonfires don’t get out of control and incidents are kept low."

A second strike is planned between 6am and 8am on Monday, November 4, in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

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Reply Posted by June on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 09:24
So why schedule a strike for this time then?

Irresponsible in my opinion they know people have bonfires and fireworks this time of year so why risk lives?

Reply Posted by ermdidyouaskthat? on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 17:13
June, it's kind of the best time to hold a strike when the government miss you.. its like the ice cream men striking on a hot summers day or night club staff striking on mad Friday....

Reply Posted by t on Thursday October 31 2013 at 14:51
It says before the weekend, why would anyone hold a bonfire before then anyway? Let's not let people standing up for their livlihood get in the way of our pleasure eh !!

Reply Posted by Richard on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 09:25
As predicted. Strike right on top of bonfire night, to deliberately put lives at risk.

Then urge people not to enjoy bonfire night?!!

Selfish, selfish people. Get back to work and do what you're PAID to do in the job choice YOU made!

We've all had to tighten our belts, the fire service is no different.

Reply Posted by Florian on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 09:46
These "selfish people" are the ones who will, at risk of their own wellbeing and even their lives, run into a burning building for you and your children; who will cut you out of a crushed car if you have been thoughtless on the road; who will (you seem like a cat person) get your cat when stuck up a tree. Maybe you can volunteer for strike day as cover?

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 20:08
Same old garbage from Richard.

They have the RIGHT to strike whenever they feel like it.

Again, I refer you to the pertinent points I have made in a previous post, just I case you forgot......

Would you like it if your employer asked you to take a wage cut of 20% (in real terms?)

Would you like it if when you came to retirement age you only got one fifth of the money you thought you were going to receive in pension?

We both know the answer to that one so why bother with your incessant drivel?

Reply Posted by Richard on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 20:19
STEVEO@ sorry to disappoint you, I run my own business and employ a great many.i am only saying it is a bad time to strike,busiest day of the year,my workers get well looked after,the workers understand that it is easy to fill there boots,and cheaper with foreign labour,,enough said!!!

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Thursday October 31 2013 at 16:28
Erm you "employ a great many" but threaten them with replacing them by "cheaper foreign labour"?

What a SURPRISE!

I wouldn't have thought anything less of you.

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday October 31 2013 at 17:09
@Richard.....SHAME ON YOU. That's bad.

Reply Posted by jack on Thursday October 31 2013 at 18:02
that's disgraceful RICHARD: I hope your workers read this post,and see what a vile creature you are,,,A VERY SAD MAN!!!

Reply Posted by hunnybunny on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 18:47
If people are going to post in the same name as someone else do not pretend to me them, its very stupid, childish and misleading. if you have a point to make then make it as yourself and dont hide behind another!

Reply Posted by Mr x on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 09:31
To put across that they mean buisness abd this is busyist time of the year so I agree make the bosses realisrle

Reply Posted by Richard on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 09:35
Mr X we all know why they are doing it at their busiest time of year (which in itself stinks of being too lazy to do the real job they're paid for all year round to do).

I sincerely hope neither you or your loved ones need assistance during these times, as I'm pretty sure your opinion will change if you do need the fire service and they simply don't turn up.

Reply Posted by Richard on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 09:51
@ Florian, can you actually hear yourself? Why on earth would I volunteer at the same time as paying their wages to to that same job? That job that they are refusing to do.

As for them risking their lives, they're certainly not wanting to do that at a time of year when it REALLY matters. Silly person.


Reply Posted by jb on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 11:09
I for one totally agree with them striking and have total respect for them doing the job that they do but definitely wrong time of year for a strike

Reply Posted by x on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 11:27
i for one am behind them all the way,what is the point in striking at a time that as very little impact,the whole idea of a strike is to affect daily lives.i wander how many of you who are calling these guys irresponsible will still go ahead and have fireworks and bonfires durring the strike,now thats what i call irresponsible

Reply Posted by Ernest Hemmingway on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 13:31
Richard or Dick as I'll now refer to you ... You talk utter testicles ... I take it you have shares in a firework company ...

Reply Posted by Richard on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 22:05
Ernest Hemmingway, coming from someone needing to use a superior name that far outweighs your own intelligence, I'll take it as a compliment that you actually took the time and managed to spell in your delightful message to me. I thank you :)


Reply Posted by Fob on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 13:31
@Richard-do you fully understand why fire fighters nationally are striking?

Reply Posted by Richard on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 22:15
@Fob, to answer your question, yes I do understand why.

But for them to deliberately strike and risk the lives of the people that pay their wages, particularly when they choose to strike when they are most needed, is pretty selfish.

If people were to listen to the fire chief and actually be responsible(!), like that's ever going to happen! Then surely we could all do that 365 days a year and lay them all off! The reality is, that people will do what they want, when they want. Fireworks are widely on sale, so its an accident waiting to happen.

My guess is (and I hope I'm wrong here), this news will spark added pressure on 999 and the fire service during the strikes, due to people being deliberately malicious and idiotic to create extra problems with hoax calls etc. Like I say, I hope I'm wrong about that.

Reply Posted by T on Thursday October 31 2013 at 14:55
You talk utter tripe Richard!

Reply Posted by June on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 19:58
@erm Utter rubbish

People do not die or lose their homes because icecreams are not available. If someone dies as a result of this action then what? They will lose any public support as well.

So yes it's an idiotic poorly thought out and irresponsible thing to do


Reply Posted by T on Thursday October 31 2013 at 14:59
June it doesn't sound like you support them at all. I will reiterate,why would you have a bonfire before the weekend anyway?

Reply Posted by Fred on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 21:09
Firstly I am totally opposed to strikes. If your not happy in your job, leave and get something which will make you happy.

HOWEVER I have every sympathy for fire fire fighters, when you sign up, pay and pension are linked to give you a package. No one can claim that firefighters are well paid but they do or did, have a decent pension to off set the mediocre pay. How after 10-15 years service can this be removed, I for one would stand for it. Surely it must be applied to new starters only.

Reply Posted by Fred on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 21:11
That should read WOULD NOT STAND FOR IT.

Reply Posted by Fob on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 22:24
@Richard-would you care to elaborate on your understanding of why you think they are striking?

Or is it (to paraphrase) just because of wages and selfishness??

Reply Posted by Richard on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 22:35
@Fob, in a nut shell its age of retirement, wages and pension.

We've all had our age of retirement increased, as the population is living longer and depleting the pension pot. If we simply leave it as it is, then what will the next generations be left with? Should we allow our children to starve in their retirement, or should we make adjustments now to allow all future generations to survive and not starve?

These fire fighters have a job (which is a good thing). They earn a living wage, its significantly above minimum wage of over £28k with higher rates for overtime (another good thing). Their job isn't always busy, only when they are called upon. In theory, their hourly rate is fantastic compared to the hours of actual work they do! They get a lot of practice playing pool....probably enough practice to enter pool tournaments and win (that would top up their wages surely)!! lol

Lets not forget, these firefighters do this job as a chosen profession.

Reply Posted by Fob on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 23:15
"In a nutshell"...simple as that then.

The reason is due to changes in agreed pension terms and conditions plus uping the retirement age to 60 for the role of a front line fire fighter. Every fire fighter I've spoken to-of which I am not one-agrees that changes need to be made to make work practices more efficient. That is not in question.

Re pensions-would you be happy to have what you agreed to changed (if ycomments one?) part way through it's planned term? So that plans you had made and commitments you had taken based on that went out of the window? So you couldn't honour agreements you'd made with others? No. Didn't think so. Don't suppose you pay almost 15% each month of your "above national average wage" into a pension either...

As for the comments on pool etc...pah...more nonsense. You need to get your facts straight before making quick quips over the keyboard.

It's quite obvious with your tone and angle that you have absolutely no comprehension of the fantastic work all our emergency services do. This government are determined to destroy what's left of them and people like you just propagate that message.

If/when you or your family experience a serious RTC or fire I hope to god knowone is hurt. But if you should I hope you get an experienced, hard working, compassionate and professional crew that assist you. Maybe you'll not be as quick to comment and condem people defending their rights and those of the people they serve then.




Reply Posted by Richard on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 23:32
@Fob, I happen to know a number of fire fighters and they are not busy ALL OF THE TIME. This makes their hourly rate pretty damn good compared to the average worker in this country. For them to complain, whilst understandable (when things are against the luxuries they want to be used to) isn't going to get the sympathy of the many. 15% of their salary isn't so bad to contribute into a pension (still plenty left to live on), neither is a retirement age of 60 (when considering everyone else is now 67, so they've an extra 7 years to enjoy their retirement!)

They've a job they are paid well to do and do it when they are most needed. Striking at a time when they are most needed is selfish and completely irresponsible.

Reply Posted by Fob on Thursday October 31 2013 at 06:31
Again, it's very easy to cast aspersions when you haven't done that job or similar?

What do you do btw? Do you seriously think a 60 year old man/woman will be fit enough to carry out the mandatory fitness/job requirements of a fire fighter? And I take it you'd be happy to pay 15% of your wage into a pension...oh wait, you probably don't have one.

If you did know "plenty of fire fighters" you'd show a little more respect. Your comments prove nothing more than how much of an ignoramus you are.

Reply Posted by Richard on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 23:28
@Fob Your comments are silly, ridiculous and full of assumptions.

So just because I know firefighters I should agree with their argument?

How do you know I've not done a similar job?

As for people being 60 and fit enough....there are plenty of people fit and healthy at the age of 60. If they choose to lead an unhealthy lifestyle and be unfit for their role, then that's clearly not the job for them anyway! Its a requirement to be fit, so in theory if they kept fit, then they should still be fit at the age of 60.

How could you possibly assume whether I have a pension or not? What's that got to do with the price of fish?

Many people have to budget for things in life. A pension is no different. They get paid £28k+, so they can afford a pension (if they choose to).



Reply Posted by NW on Thursday October 31 2013 at 08:32
firemen are always on strike, just like teachers. How come all the overwieght firemen (and there is a few)pass these fitness tests fob?

Reply Posted by Fob on Thursday October 31 2013 at 09:01
@NW There are certainly a number of fire service personnel-both men and women-who are unfit for front line roles. Again, it's easy to take cheap shots when you have no understanding of what's involved in doing a job. Or the requirements that places on you.

The last industrial action took place in 2002-03. Teachers are another group of workers under attack by this government.



Reply Posted by Sacklechester on Thursday October 31 2013 at 09:20
The Firefighters are standing up for what they believe in ... That they were PROMISED when they first signed their contract of employment ... Now if you we're in their position (which you ARN'T) then you would fight tooth and nail to protect what you signed up for! This government is 100% anti public services .. They will do anything in their power to privatise these services ... And trust me they are trying ...

I pray to god you would never be in the position of having a 60year old fire crew turning up trying to carry you or your loved ones out of a bedroom window ... If you are in that infortuneate situation .. GOOD LUCK ....

Oh and all this tosh about firefighters been lazy etc .. Go and visit your local station and put that argument to them ...

Reply Posted by sue on Thursday October 31 2013 at 10:52
You're right sacklechester. My hubby was a fireman years ago. Theres a lot to it. Apart from the obvious, there's knowing about chemicals,in case of a tanker spillage,there's topology,knowing the streets etc,there's masses of first aid,there's knowing all the fire hydrants, not to mention collision knowledge. OK,the job may look easy,but the knowledge needed is enormous. I remember a chemical tanker spillage on some motorway and the chemicals actually burnt away the limbs of people that had come out of their vehicles to help. These guys are heroes.

Reply Posted by rainbow on Thursday October 31 2013 at 10:18
Lived in Barnsley over sixty years and never seen a fire crew putting out a fire.? I've heard of a few, but touch wood never seen em in action. Also we didn't have a fire brigade to put out fires down the pit, we did it ourselves, putting out fires aint rocket science.??

Reply Posted by sue on Thursday October 31 2013 at 10:55
Rainbow, read my post above. You don't know anything about the job. You are though not on your own. It LOOKS easy, but its not. If a chemical tanker spills its load and you drive over it,your tyres are gone, these guys don't just out fires,that's just silly. Its a dangerous job believe me......I know.

Reply Posted by fireman sam on Thursday October 31 2013 at 11:10
rainbow@ there also rescue pussy cats out of trees..maoew,,,

Reply Posted by fireman sam on Thursday October 31 2013 at 11:13
also help with getting very fat people out of bed...with a crane..

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday October 31 2013 at 11:24
Firemen have to be above average intelligence. 6 weeks training at Birkinshaw with exams at the end. Training is always ongoing. No its not rocket science,but there,s masses of science that has to be known. Think about what's in your home,what's on the roads, ..use your heads. It's not just an ordinary job, many people who try to get in the fire brigade don't make it,down to intelligence alone. I bet they wish all they have to do is out the odd fire.

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday October 31 2013 at 12:03
let them strike,at least there won,t be playing cards,pool etc,be in the cold,,,

Reply Posted by Fob on Thursday October 31 2013 at 10:40
If it's an easy a job as some people on here think it is-with so many benefits-one question...

Why are you not doing it???

Reply Posted by Sacklechester on Thursday October 31 2013 at 10:52
Arr remember wokin darnt pit .. One ot pit pony's knocked ova one et burners frumt soup kitchen .. Set fire tu a lowered a coil .. But a managed tu put it art wi a bucket a waater ...


Remind me why the miners went on strike ..... Then see above article ...

Reply Posted by fob on Thursday October 31 2013 at 11:30
@fireman sam-it's "meow"

Reply Posted by T on Thursday October 31 2013 at 15:08
I am sat here incredulous with the utterly selfish Barnsley people. This government are destroying people's livlihoods and when they try and stand up for themselves it is not the rich but their own working class peers.The divide and conquer policy is working well in Barnsley.

Reply Posted by T on Thursday October 31 2013 at 15:12
* Livelihoods

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday October 31 2013 at 15:34
@T you have just hit the nail on the head with your post.

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Thursday October 31 2013 at 17:53
The Fire Service are paid extremely well and many other jobs do not have half the benefits they receive. They should try working for the average salary that is paid in Barnsley then they'd know what hard done by is.
Many people would give their right arm to be paid half of what they are on and to have a pension like theirs so don't say the government is destroying their life when it clearly isn't.

Reply Posted by June on Thursday October 31 2013 at 15:14
T - are you naive enough to think that youths with fireworks will stick to weekends and organised displays? There have been fireworks going off for days and on the run up to the 5th it will get worse.

So no I do not support them striking at this time. They have a right to strike but doing so at this time means that I and many others that would otherwise have supported them no longer will

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Thursday October 31 2013 at 16:36
They have a right to strike whenever they see fit and I support them fully.



Reply Posted by Raft on Thursday October 31 2013 at 15:31
The fire service have put into place paid volunteer staff/firemen in place for these periods with members of the south yorks public.

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Thursday October 31 2013 at 16:29
HOW SELFISH OF THEM!!! - can you imagine the stink they'd kick up if the bank went on strike on pay day and their wages didn't get paid - can you imagine if the A&E staff all went on strike and they were injured on duty and were told to come back tomorrow.
Can you imagine the anarchy if all the police went out on strike.....

They shouldn't be allowed to strike at any time - especially on bonfire weekend...complete and utter idiots. I will never donate to any of their collections ever again.

Reply Posted by shaking my head on Thursday October 31 2013 at 17:56
If they dont want people to start fires, then why post that they are going on strike for all the idiots to see? is the world honestly that stupid now?

Reply Posted by Kev C on Thursday October 31 2013 at 17:57
I think maybe this Richard character is a bit of a fantasist

Reply Posted by hunnybunny on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 19:15
Kev C think you need to read all of the posts as there seems to a few more people agreeing with him.
And to all you others that think its a great idea to strike whenever they want, I work in the Care industry, more importantly I work with young adults with disabilities (many very complex) a lot of these young adults cant even get out of bed or feed themselves without help, so imagine if you will that one of these young adults was your child and you relied upon me to help them and (stay with me) if I decided one day to strike and not turn up at work because the back breaking job (there are a high percentage of physical injuries and your back life is reduced) cleaning up faeces, urine, vomit, being assaulted, long hours delivering care and helping promote independence to your child so that they can achieve as much as they can to live a fulfilled life just wasnt worth the minimum wages and the 'revised' pension money. Dont you think that I would be putting your childs life at risk by just deciding that im going to stike?! I undertake a heck of a lot of training from Fire Safety, moving and handling,First Aid, hazardous substances, food and hygiene, Managing Actual and Potential Aggression to training in dealing with mental disabilities.
I do the job that I am PAID to do, I do it because I CARE and want to make a difference not for the money or the pension pot. If i were a fire fighter it would be the same. They took the job on knowing what it consists of and any dealings with fire have RISK ASSESSMENTS in place, no-one puts their lives at risk unnecessarily!
Richard puts forth a good argument and looks at things from different perspectives which is very healthy and means that he's not a SHEEP!

Reply Posted by Steve on Friday November 1 2013 at 00:24
Bonfires don't cause house fires and car accidents so technically it won't cost lives, any strike at any time could cost lives but the thing that will ultimately cost the most life's are the cuts to your services made by the government, your services are at breaking point already, apparently people don't care how long a fire engine takes to get to you as long as you know it's on the way, please people don't blame the workers none of them want to strike please support, don't believe all the press propogander, it amazes me how the government can just decide that contracts with regards to themselves arnt worth the paper they are written on but we are made to honour our contracts with banks etc be nice if you could just decide to say to your bank I have decided I am not payin that interest you are charging me and they just have to except it, we must fight for what is at least fair!

Reply Posted by Fob on Friday November 1 2013 at 09:58
Well said Steve. Glad to see someone has some backbone and moral conviction to protect what's right.

Reply Posted by Sam on Friday November 1 2013 at 17:07
Richard you really have no idea, would you be slating these public servants if they pulled you out of a burning building risking there own lives, firefighters die this is a fact, and the ones who work on a daily basis to keep you safe deserve the pension they put in to, not to have to bail the government out for their failures when the service is cutting everything at the minute.

bonfire season is a quiet period for the brigade as they are controlled fires, sometimes people need to use common sense for these arguments.

Reply Posted by hunnybunny on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 19:22
Sam how many news stories do you hear about firefighters dying in a fire? then think about the percentage of that and think on the percentages of all other causes of deaths within a specified job. There are Risk assessments put into place so that no fire fighter goes into fires without the risk being reduced to a very low percentage. they are very highly trained as is anyone working in a 'POTENTIALLY' dangerous job. Think you need some of that common sense you're spouting on about before you come out with your own comments!

Reply Posted by sarah on Friday November 1 2013 at 19:04
Forgive me if im wrong but did Guy Fawkes not try to blow up parliment on the 5th november.

Reply Posted by Richard on Sunday November 3 2013 at 10:29
@ A Nonnie Mouse WELL SAID INDEED! At least there are some people on here with an ounce of intelligence to see the REAL picture!

Let's hope nobody needed the fire service on their day off, while the rest of us worked.

Reply Posted by Richard on Sunday November 3 2013 at 10:51
To all the foolish people that believed this post below was from me (within the thread above). It wasn't. There are some very sad people needing to do such things to gather hatred. Look closer next time, the spelling and grammar needed work.


STEVEO@ sorry to disappoint you, I run my own business and employ a great many.i am only saying it is a bad time to strike,busiest day of the year,my workers get well looked after,the workers understand that it is easy to fill there boots,and cheaper with foreign labour,,enough said!!!

Reply Posted by sid on Sunday November 3 2013 at 11:17
RICHARD,you have already dug yourself a hole,do yourself a favour,climb inside,im sure there is a lot of people on WAB who would gladly fill in the hole,your comments are outrages,you have no respect for your employee,sad man!!!

Reply Posted by hunnybunny on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 19:32
Think you need to read MY post Sid. It seems that you're just making comments at Richard for your own gratification rather than looking at view points and seeing both sides. Something I've noticed you seem to do a lot of here on WAB. At least this Richard offers a good debate that is honest and actually worth listening to. If we were all of the liked minded then everyone would be judged without question, it is human to question the why's the who's and the how's, its human to question that just because they can that they should.

Reply Posted by Richard on Sunday November 3 2013 at 17:29
Oh dear, how nasty can one be? I think I will stay a while and continue making my comments. The nastiness from whoever wants to conduct themselves in that way I can only have pity for. I for one will not lower myself to that level.

Reply Posted by Neil on Monday November 4 2013 at 12:46
You would never hear a doctor or nurse say " don't have an heart attack or have an accident on nov 1st, we're going on strike that day"


Reply Posted by Steve on Tuesday November 5 2013 at 13:52
I saw this on Facebook and completely agree with this guy, so I thought I would share on this as it says it all really,
Why The Fire Fighters Matter
First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller

(hat tip @Joncle)

About 36 hours ago now, I wrote a blog post supporting the fire fighters in their 4 hour strike over the cuts to their pensions. Up to now it’s had a little under 17000 views. Understandably, emotions ran a bit high over it and I received literally hundreds of comments and tweets on the content of the post. For you fire fighters out there, I’d say around 99% of those comments were in support.

No matter what you say, or how reasonable your logic, there will always be that small group of people who disagree. Despite the fact they were relatively small in number, the sheer volume of comments I received meant I simply couldn’t get into the argument with all of them individually.

Let me say, that I can handle disagreement. I like to have a reasoned exchange of views with people. There are always two sides to every argument and to make a valid point you’ve got to be fair to all, but these arguments were the kind that just started with an aggressive tone, and got worse as time went on.

But fear not if you took the time to wipe the rabid foam from your mouths, to compose an abusive tweet via the bashing of your gnarled, embittered digits against your phlegm speckled keyboard, rest assured that I did notice, and reply below to the common themes:-

60 year olds could keep themselves fit and pass the fitness test – of course they could. I never said they couldn’t do it. I asked you to picture a 58 year old running around with an air tank on their back, whilst dragging heavy hoses. I would agree that there are 60 years olds that could do even that, you may even know them. But I’d hazard a guess that most 60 year olds couldn’t. And for the sake of a reasonable debate; don’t reference the fitness levels of 72 year olds you know – some people know pilots that have been in space, it doesn’t mean that everyone is capable of being an astronaut. (33% of fire fighters are estimated to fail the test – which will be the older staff which means the government will steal a bigger slice of their pension pot)

Retiring on £19000 a year is a good pension – yes it is, which is why they joined it, paid their contributions and looked forward to getting it. However £19000 is the maximum they can get, if joining at 20 and working for 40 years. We won’t settle this without an honest debate, so use an honest number.

Stop using the ‘saving persons from a burning building analogy it’s their job’ – really…? If they saved you and your family from your burning building, you’d wipe yourself down say ‘well, don’t expect thanks from me – you were just doing your job’.
Well, yes they were, but it’s a kind of special job don’t you think? And it demands decent pay. Imagine the job advert in your world: “Fire Fighter’s needed. Duties occasionally include entering burning buildings, cutting people out of cars in hostile conditions and fire prevention. Salary: from just above bread line to crap, dependant on experience”.

The economic situation is all Labour’s fault – that’s a bigger argument, but I don’t really care. Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem, the representatives of the supposedly Great British Public promised those fire fighters those pensions in exchange for work and contributions. They gave the work and the money, now give them the pensions you promised.

I’d love to get such a high pension – WELL WHY DIDN’T YOU BECOME A FIRE FIGHTER THEN?!?!? this is the only argument that simply fills me with utter rage. Each and every one of those fire fighters had to apply for those jobs. If you wanted that pension, or their wages, why didn’t you get the job yourself? Or any one of the other public sector jobs that have a good pension attached? The fact that you have a terrible pension is not an argument to reduce somebody else’s. As I said before it’s the very worst characteristics of being British – the petty small minded, jealous mind-set that just can’t stand to see someone else do better. And don’t forget one of the reasons they have a better pension than you is because they pay more into it than you do.

You missed out the armed forces, the nurses, etc etc – yes I did. I did so because I have limited time on my hands and I can’t get into each one. The fact is that the entire public sector is being screwed over.

I understand that we’ve got to cut costs and it’s got to be quick and radical, but it’s got to be fair.

It’s not fair to say to those soldiers, go to Afghanistan and protect the country, but you might be made redundant in a few years, and we don’t have any harriers to protect you with, or even an aircraft carrier to launch them from.

It’s not fair to say to a nurse, tend my wounds, dodge the angry drunk in A&E, clean the corridors and solve MRSA and take the blame for every mis-step caused by stupid government targets, but don’t expect the pay rise we promised you next year.

It’s not fair to say to teachers, put up with threats from pupils and parents, get our school into the top of the exam league tables, meet our targets and take the blame for not spotting child abuse, but don’t expect the pension we promised.

I missed out the forces and nurses, and all the other public sector workers, because my last post was for the public sector in it’s entirety. I mentioned the Fire fighters because they were getting a kicking by dishonest people who are supposed to support them. I’m no supporter of socialism, read the rest of my blog to see that, I’m no supporter of conservatism either. What I do support is the concept of fairness.

Fair is a word that has become increasingly warped over the years in the UK. So let me bend it back into shape. If you pay for something, you should get it. There should be no question about it. You could change the pension scheme for new entrants, that would be fair. You could reduce the salary scales for new entrants too, that would be fair. You could hold a referendum asking if the public would be prepared to have poorer public services in exchange for a drop in taxes, that would also be fair.

What is not fair, is promising a certain pension and wage, in exchange for performing their duties at a very high level of competence, and then when they do so, refuse to give them the pension and wage that was promised.

That’s why I support the fire fighters, and all the public services and in fact anyone screwed out of their pension in the public OR private sectors. They’re just asking for what you promised them. Not a penny more, nor a penny less. They did their bit, now you do yours. Don’t dip out on your commitments just because it’s convenient. Because if you abandon your commitment to fairness, then you won’t be able to argue when the government treats you unfairly.

The Beard.

P.s. don’t forget the MPs don’t universally reject good pay for public sector

Reply Posted by Ronnie on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 20:05
A financial expert was on the local radio recently and had researched the open market cost of purchasing a pension equivalent to that of current fireman. The cost was £850k.