FRSA National Update
12 May 2023
Draft Culture Action Plan
In a previous e-bulletin we highlighted the Culture and Inclusion Conference that took place in late March this year. The conference was in response to the Independent Culture Review into London Fire Brigade and the media articles which highlighted some alarming behaviours across several fire and rescue services across both England and Wales.
At the conference the NFCC Chair, Mark Hardingham made a commitment to formulate an action plan within a month to deal with Culture across all services. The draft action plan was published a few weeks ago and provides short, medium and long-term objectives for the Fire sector.
All stakeholders, including ALL trade unions within Fire have a role to play to promote a culture within the sector that is inclusive, welcoming, and productive for those working within its organisations as well as the public they serve. The FRSA has given our commitment to promote the draft action plan in partnership with all fire and rescue services and stakeholders.
A copy of the action plan can be found here.
Minimum Service Levels
The government published its consultation document on minimum service levels within the fire and rescue service back in February 2023. The consultation has now closed and the FRSA has provided its response to these proposals which proposes to provide a minimum level of emergency provision in the event of national strike action.
To summarise, the FRSA sympathises with the government’s view that the public should not be put at an unacceptable level of risk due to strike action within an emergency service, a situation completely out of the control of the public. This is the principal reason as to why the FRSA is and has been since its conception, a non-striking trade union.
However, there were many unanswered questions relating to the feasibilities of how such an arrangement would work in practice. Without the necessary detail of confidence of the robustness of the application, it is difficult to see how the introduction of minimum service levels will be implemented without further consultation. We await the government’s response to the consultation process with interest.
Age Discrimination Remedy
The mechanisms for correcting the age discriminate caused by the UK government’s implementation of the 2015 Firefighters Pension Scheme, are now being consulted upon separately in each of the devolved administrations.
The FRSA broadly welcomes the proposals to rectify the discrimination which provides members with the opportunity to make informed retrospective decisions on which scheme membership is best suited to their individual circumstances. The FRSA has argued for any historical pension contribution back-payments to be made available via a monthly payment plan over a maximum period of 10-years.
If you have been affected by the age discrimination remedy, and need further guidance, please contact FRSA HQ for further advice.
National Health and Wellbeing Strategy
This week the NFCC published its Health and Wellbeing Research in partnership with the Fire Fighters Charity and Nottingham Trent University with the FRSA being invited to attend the launch.
The 224-page report includes 31 recommendations that are evidence-based and are focused on improving the lives of individuals within fire, those leaving or who have left the workforce and the families that support them. The report highlights that whilst large scale incidents have an impact, the challenges of everyday life and the organisational structures within the work environment have a greater impact.
Once the report has been fully digested, the FRSA has been invited to meet with the NFCC and discuss how the union can play its part in progressing the recommendations to the benefit of our members across the UK.
Chief Executive Officer
Listen to our Podcast
Last month we launched our own podcast, ‘Priority Message’. The podcast compliments the videos available on our YouTube channel which already contains a number of informative videos covering a variety of subjects. More videos and podcasts will became available over the coming year so please do subscribe to both the podcast and YouTube channel.
Our offer to you
A new information leaflet is available encapsulating the key benefits of being a member of the FRSA. The document is available via our website and we would recommend that this is shared with your colleagues on station.