Fire & Rescue

Budget cuts

Option 2 Strategic implementation plan was passed by the Fire Authority on 9.9.2016 and on the 30th September the Fire Authority did the following:

  1. Removed the second fire engine from Orsett fire station from operational service.
  2. Removed the second fire engine from Rayleigh Weir fire station from operational service.
  3. Removed the second fire engine from Loughton fire station from operational service.
  4. Removed the second fire engine from Corringham fire station from operational service.
  5. Replaced  the Pinzgauer fire engine at Dunmow fire station with a standard fire engine.

Early retirement exits second phase will commence, various movement of personnel resources, using transfer selection, plus skills selection will be underway with the selection process applied between 7th Oct and 21st November and finalised by the 31st January 2017.

The Retained Duty System (RDS) Project.

The project,which is out for consultation, is looking to change the number of hours that on call firefighters complete by making a demand only contract which is more flexible therefore making recruitment easier allowing for communities to manage their fire station.  Also could allow more support staff to enter into a secondary contract to allow them to become on call firefighters.

However, the current stats show more leavers than joiners which questions whether the Fire Service will have enough on call firefighters under the option 2 implementation, thus putting the public at risk.

Standby Allowances

Consultation has begun on levelling the standby allowances for all departments (Green Book only.) The consultation was to end by 31 October 2016.  From early indicators there appears to be winners and losers.  Update in the near future.

Irene Lucas report

Kim Roswell and Sharon White (UNISON Caseworker) attended a meeting with other representative bodies to have an open discussion with the Sir Ken Knight to discuss the work of the External Advisory Panel which was brought in under the report recommendations.

However, Sir Ken Knight’s report to the Essex Fire Authority showed lack of input from the meeting with the representative bodies and seemed to pass blame to the unions for the culture within the organisation.

Sir Ken Knight also stated Essex Fire Service at present will not be put into special measurers and the External Advisory Panel still has work too complete.

Grievance and Disciplinary working group facilitated by ACAS.

Under the Lucas report it was identified that the processes and procedures needed to be looked into as part of improving the culture within the organisation.  This has been a difficult process in trying to bring all stakeholders around the table to discuss the issues.

The following statement was released at the end of August:

“HR, Management and UNISON as part of the Joint Working Group facilitated by ACAS met on the 25th August 2016 to continue the work that has been done around surfacing the current issues and possible solutions around the area of Discipline and Grievances.

Views will be sought from the other stakeholders in the organisation, before the next meeting of this working group, at a date yet to be greed.

If you have any views you wish to contribute to this group, please contact your appropriate representative or any member of the Joint Working Group.”

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