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.....


Anonymous said...

Exactly! The FBU have a responsibility to discipline Miller not management

Anonymous said...

Ron Grahame condones the sacking of somebody who let rip on a picket line. This is the same person who a while back had to go to the local police station because he threatened another labour party member at his constituency AGM. What a hypocrite!

Sarah Covell said...

Yes we heard about that. The altercation in Harehills WMC car park !

Sarah Covell said...

Yes we heard about that. The altercation in Harehills WMC car park !

Anonymous said...

Coucillor Ron Grahame who at the last ever Richmond Hill Forum openly threated ex Cllr Pryke by standing up and saying he would take him on anytime in a very aggressive manner. Basically he was spoiling for a fight! Now that is gross misconduct. And don't get me started on when he was Ron Blower before he hooked up with Pauleen. He is nothing more than a thug and shouldn't be allowed to hold public office.

I too witnessed the AGM incident - he was furious because the party voted against the incinerator.

Anonymous said...

Whats worse innappropriate touching of female staff not once but at least two sets of complaints. They didnt sack Colin did they? He was allowed to slither off on early retirement. The chief lets his male staff touch up women but sacks people who swear!