Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Mother of Development Opportunities!

On Tuesday I undertook my Fire Marshall training which was conducted in my workplace by a trainer from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. As it was the third time I have done the course (it’s obligatory every three years) I attended expecting the same old stuff as the previous two episodes, but a different trainer meant the course content was slightly different. I will be forever grateful to the chap, as now I know the best fuel to light a barbecue with is a packet of cheesy wotsits; although today  the FBU assured me that monster munch works just as well (and as they are cheaper, are more cost effective)  plus the pickled onion flavour tastes so foul  setting light to them is probably classified as an humanitarian act keeping them out of the food chain.

Anyway less of potato based snacks,  
I digress.

WYFRS explained the Triangle of Fire - fuel, heat and oxygen and said it was our duty to report and if possible rectify fire hazards if we saw them in our workplace. One of the examples he gave was a picture of a cassette radio adjacent  to curtains on a bedroom windowsill; he admitted that this had been taken in a bedroom at Fire Service Headquarters at Birkenshaw  and that one of the recruits when training had placed it there (he did add, bless him that they hadn't had recruits in a fair while and that it was a very old piccie) at which I may, or may not, have had a small coughing fit to try and prevent a sarcastic remark escaping from my lips.

Then we were asked what  we would do to the person who had been stupid enough to cause a fire hazard in the first place?

A spot of banter ensued and the sanctions varied from a  telling off to sacking them for gross misconduct! None of which were right apparently ............ people doing things that may have potentially endangered life or property offered staff  
"development opportunities" he said. It was an opportunity to show them the error of their ways and support them to understand what they had done wrong and to teach them the right way. 

For once I have to say I agree with somebody from FSHQ !

But now I am confused...........

IF  the advice from WYFRS is that making mistakes is to be seen as an opportunity to do good and develop people professionally, why on earth have they dismissed Firefighter Phil Miller for a one off act that took place on a picket line?  
For what he is alleged to have done I'm not saying that he should get off scot free, but surely it is a gross waste of tax payers’ money to dismiss a highly trained staff member who over the years will have accumulated masses of experience and matured into the role he undertook. 

It would surely be a decent manager with integrity who acknowledged an error made by their staff and dealt with it "in house” rather than using a sledgehammer to crack a highly trained and experienced nut by dismissing them. 

An even better manager would work with the union concerned to ensure that there was a mutual understanding of unacceptable behaviour!

The Star Trek Effect! 

How much it costs to train a fire fighter to a competent standard I don’t know, but I expect  it runs into the many tens of thousands of pounds?  
Is it worth throwing all of that training away in one fell swoop?  

No of course it isn’t.  

The councillors who oversee the fire authority (listed below) are perhaps the ones we should all hold to account.  At the present the Human Resources Committee is as follows, as you can see it is the Labour party who hold sway; most of whom will have at some point in their careers been on demos, picket lines etc and would surely understand the emotional nature of such events. Yet they allowed senior management to dismiss Phil Miller.

Liberal Democrat
Cllr R Grahame (Vice chair)
Cllr P Caffrey
Cllr C Burke
Cllr M Hardy
Cllr L Holmes
Cllr M Harland
Cllr A Taylor
Cllr M Khan
Cllr G Wilkinson
Cllr G Thornton (Chair)
Cllr A Wainwright

The FBU firefighters who are striking and campaigning are aiming to change things for the betterment of all, not just union members.

Any benefits gained from the removal of ones labour is an act for the collective 
long term good of Fire and Rescue.

Surely this incident would offer WYFRS managers the mother of all 
development opportunities!  

But they chose to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut -  I can therefore only presume the act of dismissing Phil was an act of vengeance and spite (and extremely unprofessional too!)

Shame on You WYFRS, although from what we have seen here at FCCL they don't manage staff as much as intimidate them into submission.


We wish you the very best Phil and we will support you in whatever way we can and we are confident that Thompsons and the FBU in partnership will fight your corner at an Employment Tribunal. Talk to them, get your day in court  - its what you paid your subs for! 

And because we are in a philosophical mood we will end with an appropriate  quote for all WYFRS Managers.....

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The New Improved Formula Really Works ............

Today in the FCCL office we have had a bit of good news. 
It concerns our recent post here 

One of our supporters emailed to say that they had just had confirmation from West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue that their holiday pay calculation on retirement in 2010 was incorrect and they were shortly  to receive

We are assured that the individual concerned will be popping by the FCCL office very soon so we can partake in a celebratory cup of coffee and a bun. (and he's paying) 

This is the third person  we are aware of who has got a windfall due to WYFRS messing up. 

As we know that

2012  - 24 firefighters retired
2013 - 16 firefighters retired 

that's potentially approx £80,000 owing from 
two years alone from operational staff - what about the non operational ones too !!!

and as we have already stated this claim was from a retirement in March 2010! so heavens knows how many more people may be entitled to cash. 

That's a lot of money people may be missing out on  that they may not be aware of. In our opinion the calculations should ALL BE CHECKED going back several years rather than individuals having to make a claim. 

Below are the calculations used for the most 
recent claim. 

Gross pay  £28,199 
Holidays Owed 28 days 

Old Formula 

4 weekly payments divided by 28 and multiplied by the number of days outstanding. 
= £2162.23 

New Formula 

           Annual payments divided by 182.5 
and multiply the number of days outstanding.
= £4326.42 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Integrity - and the men in the lift

There is a video at the end of this post we really need you to watch

Before we get back to our proper blogging after a week of heated conversations with an IT support worker- which warrants a post
in its self - we thought we would just demonstrate how two faced  Councillors can be.  
We would like to share this as a warning to those areas of the country who are currently fighting cuts in fire and rescue provision. Please learn from our mistakes. 

Way back in October 2011 we made our first foray into fighting cuts in fire and rescue, and we learnt very quickly that politicians say one thing and then do another. 

Below  is a snapshot of the Inner East Area Committee minutes - where the local Councillors for  the surrounding area assured the public (FCCL included) that they  agreed with the then Station Commander Tony Head,  that Gipton and Stanks Fire Stations  should be saved. 

Note : 

EIAC strongly opposed the closure of the Gipton and Stanks fire stations and
relocation to one base. Members felt this would undermine the safety, health
and wellbeing of constituents if this led to a reduction in service to the area.
EIAC urged local community representatives to participate in the consultation
and contact their local MP’s. Members thanked Station Commander Head for
his presentation and participation in the frank discussions


Firstly,  it was alleged by a Councillor very publicly  (over a year after the incident) that the Chair of the Fire Authority  Mehboob Khan bullied at least one Councillor into submission. We wrote about it HERE.  and if he bullied one we reckon he bullied more. 

SO ......

Ensure your local Councillors are not going to make political decisions behind your back..... pretty much  the night before the decision meeting was to be  held in our case. 
 ( at least one other Councillor from the same party and ward was unaware that  his colleague was going to vote through the closures - we know we have the text message). 

Don't just  write it down - VIDEO THEM  - so when they are up for re election you can play it back to show what they said. 
 (if they don't vote not to close stations etc) 

 If they are in or affiliated to a trades union - make sure their branch is aware that they are potentially voting through  cuts that affect peoples lives ( and not just financially  - it could kill them). Does a political party trump a trades union ?  - nope it doesn't 
( just ask Ed Milliband )  

Get them to state in the press, on TV and anywhere else in the public domain they are against the proposals. 

And last but most certainly not least  get to know your local FBU officials - they are your allies and also technical advisers 
on any campaigns. (although we do reckon ours might be a bit tired of us by now, bless him) 

.AND FINALLY  ...... 

What happened  to our politicians  is  demonstrated perfectly by the video below.....just imagine a lift full of fire officers and a Councillor trying to do what is right.  

Instead of doing what was best for the communities they represent  - the Councillors did what they were told by a set of overpaid, self serving fire chiefs on ridiculously high  salaries! 

It takes guts to stand up to authority  - we know that for sure. 

Timid Councillors + Arrogant Fire Officers = Disaster 

It may sound silly  but show your local Councillors this video - it may just  make a difference. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Calculating Your Holiday Pay.

Just a quickie this evening !  

No - please don't try , honest it's not a good idea! 

There have been a few postings on Facebook recently about West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue
miscalculating holiday pay lost due to sickness

For information we are showing below the 

NEW  Calculation 

The current formula used by the  Finance department is annual
payments divided by 182.5 and multiply the number of days outstanding.

and the OLD Calculation 

4 weekly payments divided by 28 and multiplied by the number of days

So if you have recently left WYFRS check 
your final payments.
Any queries,we are sure your local FBU rep will advise.
Please note this is for WEST YORKSHIRE only - we do not know if it applies to other brigades. 

If you do get any back dated pay do let us know.

And finally  a quick thank you to Mark Hamilton for requesting this calculation by a Freedom of Information request in 
November 2013. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Substantial Sum

Firstly we need to apologise to our readers for being very quiet recently. This is because the day job has had to take priority for a while as it pays the FCCL office bills, plus for once UNISON stuff has had to take precedent too.

But fear not,  we have been taking numerous notes and have a back log of blogs to post so here we go with the first of many in 2014.

This is a BIG SUM

1,000,000,000,000 +3 /5750  =  173913043.478783

WYFRS Illegal Surveillance of staff 
+ Getting Caught 

We also suspect that  ....

And that the person concerned has signed a gagging clause
 preventing them discussing the amount they received.
(and to be honest we can't say we blame them)  
Yet again WYFRS have been caught breaking the law! Directors of WYFRS have been signing RIPA  orders (Regulatory Power Investigation Act ) to enable them to  SPY on their staff. 
Anthea Orchard discovered a tracking device paid for by West Yorks Tax Payers on her car   - she also had  private investigators taking pictures of herself, (and we strongly suspect her children. )
 Firefighter X as we shall call him also had ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE and his human rights breached using  tax payers money. And instead of settling quietly, he was going to take WYFRS to a very public Employment Tribunal where all their illegal activity would have been put into the public domain  ( although we are a tad disappointed as we here at FCCL had saved some annual leave to attend)
But it seems Firefighter X has settled out of court for what has been termed a " very substantial sum" 
But it leaves the basic fact that WYFRS  - namely the conveniently recently retired ACO Martyn Redfearn with serious black marks against his employment record
 - will this affect his large pension  .....Nope,
will it stop  him strike breaking - Nope. ...
It seems Martyn has no morals ! Mind you we  already know Morals don't pay the mortgage
But,   it does also  mean that CFO Simon Pilling is desperate to prevent another Tracker Gate  or indeed  Handbag Gate  (mind you we aren't sure if Fire Fighter  X had a handbag for ACO Rhodes and his colleagues to rifle through if he left the room! )
It also means to us  that EVERY COUNCILLOR  on the Fire Authority is complicit in covering up senior managements mistakes by allowing a compromise agreement rather than the open and fair  process of an employment tribunal. It also means they have something to HIDE !
You may be amazed to learn that West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are Investors in People accredited, IIP boasts..........
 "We make people management excellence count. We're here to help you realise the potential of your people, improve standards and gain the accreditation to prove it. "
so after you have stopped laughing .....
Mind you those senior staff have recently put in for a pay rise - how much do you think they should get?  We know what we at FCCL would consider !!!!!
NJC for brigade managers of local authority Fire and Rescue Services
This NJC covers uniformed senior managers – chief fire officers, deputy chief fire officers and assistant chief fire officers. They are represented by the Association of Principal Fire Officers.

A formal pay claim for 2013 was received towards the end of last year and a response is currently being considered.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


We have over the many months we have written this blog on occasions been deeply shocked (and disappointed) by the way senior staff in the Fire and Rescue Services have acted.

CFO's shaking hands with scabs returning to HQ, apparently the evidence of that was  wiped from the hard drive?  Not!!!

Managers, watched by HR and an ACO  rifling through handbags when its owner leaves the room and not forgetting  West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue  tracking employees cars and using private investigators to spy on their staff,  the money paid out spying would have paid a fire fighters wages for nearly 6 months! 

And last but most certainly not least we hear tonight that the Brigade Secretary of West Yorkshire FBU has been  told that prior to periods of industrial action  he cannot use his office at FSHQ.  That really is a lock out if ever there was one.

But today our focus has been  on another area of the country - Surrey,   where in a video aptly named URSCUM   you can (allegedly) clearly hear  CFO Russell Pearson of Surrey Fire and Rescue  refer to his striking staff  as scum. 

Chief Fire Officers are not born they are made - climbing the ranks by fair means or foul to end up earning offensively high salaries. You would think they would retain some of the integrity of the operational staff they manage - sadly not  as this video below clear demonstrates.

Ladies and Gentlemen we present SCUMGATE ..... and like it says "make up your own mind" And when you have watched it,  why not send Surrey Fire and Rescue an email to tell them how disgusted you are by clicking  HERE  and using  their compliments and complaints form for a COMPLAINT...

We sincerely hope that tonight a certain Chief Fire Officer  is writing their letter of resignation and compiling an extremely public apology to his staff.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Seasons Greetings

It's not so often we are so quiet for so long,  but every so often the day job has take precedent for a while.
But, as we here at FCCL HQ have had a new influx of staff (whoopee) and we are also starting to wind down towards the Christmas  holiday period, grateful that we don't work shifts in the emergency services, it is time to offer our seasons greetings to everybody!

FCCL Magic Pixie 
HOW  do you send a card to the thousands of people that support
our pages ?  We do confess we struggled for a while to sort out the logistics and after Santa stubbornly refused to assist  (allegedly our request breached his terms and conditions) a magic pixie emailed us  the perfect solution.

Cheers Magic Pixie we are extremely grateful.

All you have to do is  download the image below, print it - fold it into 4 and pop it proudly on your mantelpiece. 
(you could of course tart it up a bit with the application of some glue and glitter 
- we know some of you like a bit of "bling" )

But please do not forget that at this time of year the only thing you should be setting light to is your Christmas pudding so  we include a couple of videos of our favourite bear  as a timely reminders that  FIRE KILLS and has no respect for what time of year it is.

And our personal favourite - 

Blaze Bear Cooks Christmas Dinner - the response time is amazing and they didn't send an FRU - which we understand is the protocol for a "bears reported" incident.