Latest roundup of national news from the RFU

Penny Mordaunt the Minister with responsibilities for Fire and Rescue wrote to the RFU on 28th October, advising that she has updated the House of Commons on reforms to pensions and that the regulations have now been laid before parliament. In her letter she states that she firmly believes that this is a fair deal for both firefighters and the tax payer.

The letter also makes reference to concerns about fitness and the commencement of a consultation process to put these principles into the FRS National Framework for England. A project as previously reported is being set up and the arrangements for participation are being finalised. The RFU will be fully engaged in the process as there are longstanding issues over the accessibility for RDS to fitness programmes which we wish to be addressed.

On the same day another letter covered transfers from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme and the protections on offer.

Other recent letters from the Fire Minister to firefighters were sent on 20th and 24th October.

Dorset merger with Wiltshire
According to reports in the media, the proposed merger between Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Services has received public support, the outcome is due to be revealed at a meeting on 4th November. The third of 3 options proposes that Dorset and Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authorities merge to form a single Combined Authority which will collaborate with both County Councils appears to have the majority support.

Further industrial action
It is deeply regrettable that further industrial action is due to take place from 31st October through to 4th November, this ongoing action is of course beyond our control but once again we are confident that members will do their utmost to protect the vulnerable from harm during the 4 days of action. Industrial action is never an easy time for moderate people who have the safety of their community at heart; your commitment is appreciated and it will not go unnoticed.

If someone at your station is working as normal but is not yet a member, now is as good a time as any to advise them of the many benefits of RFU membership including our recently enhanced On-Call package, it’s is easy to join online here.

RFU survey and analysis on recruitment and retention of RDS staff
The survey was circulated to all FRS and has received a very positive response. We are currently undertaking a series of follow up visits to services across the country, to discuss our findings and how to deliver options for improvement. We are determined that this long standing problem is tackled and we believe such visits are the best way to achieve this.

Thank you.
John Barton

National General Secretary