Tag Archives: FBU

Guest Post: Unity is Strength Via @John_maggsFBU

16 May

Time for FBU members to stick together

The FBU executive council met yesterday to discuss the latest developments in the current pensions dispute, at the end of which they decided no further strike dates will be announced at present but consultation would continue with members over the coming days. Word got around on Twitter yesterday evening followed by much criticism from our members, no doubt formed by frustration, at the perceived current lack of activity.

Obviously none of us want to strike as we are well aware of the moral issues the striking of an emergency service brings, but the majority of us feel that when all avenues have been explored, withdrawing our labour is the very last option.

All members must now remember we are part of a very successful democratic organisation where all national officers (including negotiators) and EC members are in their positions following a fair and democratic process. Also, nothing has changed about the remit of the people negotiating on members’ behalf: to achieve the best result from negotiations as possible for all members. This may mean a judgement has to be called as to whether the threat strike is the best option at a particular point in negotiations or not. That is for the EC to decide on member’s behalf taking into account all the information available to them.

There is absolutely no doubt that negotiations are continuing, with movement being seen on the Government’s side, due to one very big reason: When called upon to do so Firefighters have downed tools and walked out of their workplaces, albeit with reluctance, and have stood strong, proud and in unity. This has sent a very clear message to the Government that FBU members are up for a fight, will stand shoulder to shoulder and declare that current proposals are unacceptable. Together with strong campaigning, gaining public support and political pressure, FBU members have made this a highly effective battle.

Following the release of the latest circular, it is imperative that all FBU members stay united, trust the negotiators and the EC members who make democratic decisions, and not to argue amongst ourselves. There is still a battle to be had and plenty of action to be taken: lobby your MP, talk to the public, distribute leaflets, attend branch meetings and discuss the dispute with each other.

This dispute is currently in a very important stage. Being seen to be united is an important message to send to the Government. Venting your frustration to the EC in the open on social media will give the impression of a disjointed campaign and weakened union. Stand strong in unity and we will make a difference, turn on each other and we can wait for the floodgates to open and lose everything we have fought so hard for. Keep up the fight but know who you are fighting against.

Unity is strength

John Maggs

Brigade Organiser

Avon FBU

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