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BS: Fireman's Strike UK

clansfolk 21 Oct 02 - 04:52 AM
Jock Morris 21 Oct 02 - 05:18 AM
mooman 21 Oct 02 - 05:24 AM
Teribus 21 Oct 02 - 05:48 AM
Julie B 21 Oct 02 - 06:26 AM
Julie B 21 Oct 02 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 21 Oct 02 - 06:53 AM
Bassic 21 Oct 02 - 07:22 AM
Ireland 21 Oct 02 - 07:30 AM
Mrs.Duck 21 Oct 02 - 08:06 AM
Ireland 21 Oct 02 - 08:38 AM
InOBU 21 Oct 02 - 12:05 PM
clansfolk 21 Oct 02 - 12:45 PM
Mrs.Duck 21 Oct 02 - 12:57 PM
GUEST 21 Oct 02 - 12:57 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Oct 02 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,T Blair 21 Oct 02 - 01:18 PM
Shields Folk 21 Oct 02 - 01:24 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Oct 02 - 01:26 PM
Shields Folk 21 Oct 02 - 01:29 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Oct 02 - 01:35 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Oct 02 - 01:38 PM
Shields Folk 21 Oct 02 - 01:39 PM
Ireland 21 Oct 02 - 01:41 PM
katlaughing 21 Oct 02 - 01:46 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Oct 02 - 01:51 PM
Shields Folk 21 Oct 02 - 01:55 PM
JudeL 21 Oct 02 - 02:03 PM
caz2ufolk 21 Oct 02 - 02:05 PM
katlaughing 21 Oct 02 - 02:28 PM
Shields Folk 21 Oct 02 - 02:29 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Oct 02 - 02:38 PM
Shields Folk 21 Oct 02 - 02:47 PM
Ireland 21 Oct 02 - 02:56 PM
Shields Folk 21 Oct 02 - 03:01 PM
katlaughing 21 Oct 02 - 03:57 PM
Eric the Viking 21 Oct 02 - 04:04 PM
GUEST 21 Oct 02 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,out of it now 21 Oct 02 - 07:31 PM
Teribus 22 Oct 02 - 03:57 AM
JudeL 22 Oct 02 - 02:51 PM
Eric the Viking 22 Oct 02 - 05:13 PM
alanabit 22 Oct 02 - 05:50 PM
Gareth 22 Oct 02 - 06:51 PM
breezy 23 Oct 02 - 05:52 PM
alanabit 23 Oct 02 - 05:58 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 23 Oct 02 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,GerMan 24 Oct 02 - 06:38 AM
Nigel Parsons 24 Oct 02 - 07:23 AM
GUEST 24 Oct 02 - 08:07 AM
Ritchie 24 Oct 02 - 08:28 AM
HuwG 24 Oct 02 - 08:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Oct 02 - 11:25 AM
Shields Folk 24 Oct 02 - 07:01 PM
GUEST 25 Oct 02 - 12:38 AM
Nigel Parsons 25 Oct 02 - 05:57 AM
alanabit 25 Oct 02 - 07:31 AM
rock chick 25 Oct 02 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,GerMan 25 Oct 02 - 09:22 AM
Shields Folk 25 Oct 02 - 09:24 AM
Bagpuss 25 Oct 02 - 09:33 AM
rock chick 25 Oct 02 - 09:48 AM
Bagpuss 25 Oct 02 - 09:58 AM
Shields Folk 25 Oct 02 - 10:12 AM
Eric the Viking 26 Oct 02 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,Londons burning... 26 Oct 02 - 07:38 AM
JudeL 26 Oct 02 - 07:46 AM
JudeL 26 Oct 02 - 08:00 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 02 - 08:24 AM
Eric the Viking 26 Oct 02 - 06:35 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 15 Nov 02 - 01:30 AM
Sarah the flute 15 Nov 02 - 03:48 AM
Scabby Douglas 15 Nov 02 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Londons burning 15 Nov 02 - 03:52 AM
Bagpuss 15 Nov 02 - 05:40 AM
Bagpuss 15 Nov 02 - 05:46 AM
JudeL 15 Nov 02 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Parthenon 15 Nov 02 - 06:53 AM
Grab 15 Nov 02 - 07:16 AM
Teribus 15 Nov 02 - 07:23 AM
Wolfgang 15 Nov 02 - 07:49 AM
GUEST 15 Nov 02 - 08:12 AM
Bagpuss 15 Nov 02 - 08:26 AM
rock chick 15 Nov 02 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Londons burning 15 Nov 02 - 02:49 PM
Eric the Viking 15 Nov 02 - 03:09 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 02 - 03:18 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 02 - 03:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 02 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,LesB 15 Nov 02 - 05:46 PM
Linda Kelly 15 Nov 02 - 06:04 PM
Ireland 15 Nov 02 - 07:18 PM
Ireland 15 Nov 02 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,Londons burning 15 Nov 02 - 07:56 PM
Gareth 15 Nov 02 - 08:24 PM
JudeL 15 Nov 02 - 08:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 02 - 09:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 02 - 06:48 AM
rock chick 16 Nov 02 - 11:28 AM
Cobble 16 Nov 02 - 12:00 PM
Ireland 16 Nov 02 - 12:01 PM
rock chick 16 Nov 02 - 12:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 02 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Londons burning 16 Nov 02 - 06:49 PM
Cobble 16 Nov 02 - 07:10 PM
Ireland 16 Nov 02 - 07:17 PM
Gareth 16 Nov 02 - 07:22 PM
Ireland 16 Nov 02 - 07:30 PM
greg stephens 16 Nov 02 - 07:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 02 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Londons burning 16 Nov 02 - 07:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 02 - 08:14 PM
Ireland 16 Nov 02 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Londons burning 17 Nov 02 - 05:12 AM
Eric the Viking 17 Nov 02 - 07:22 AM
rock chick 17 Nov 02 - 07:48 AM
JudeL 17 Nov 02 - 01:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 02 - 01:55 PM
Ireland 17 Nov 02 - 02:25 PM
Wolfgang 18 Nov 02 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Londons burning 19 Nov 02 - 03:37 AM
Eric the Viking 19 Nov 02 - 02:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Nov 02 - 02:34 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 22 Nov 02 - 03:40 AM
GUEST,The Independent 22 Nov 02 - 02:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Nov 02 - 04:20 PM
Eric the Viking 22 Nov 02 - 05:08 PM
GUEST 22 Nov 02 - 06:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Nov 02 - 06:59 PM
GUEST 22 Nov 02 - 07:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Nov 02 - 07:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Nov 02 - 07:43 PM
GUEST 22 Nov 02 - 07:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Nov 02 - 07:53 PM

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Subject: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: clansfolk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 04:52 AM

Can anybody explain to me why people take jobs - then decide because of the danger involved etc (which one would think they'd be aware of when they chose theie career) they threaten strike action for more money (will this make the danger less???) and not better safety equipment?

Why do they always compare their wages to other group of workers like Police, Teachers Doctors etc...? If the job and wages someone else is getting is better than there's why don't they train and apply to be a policeman, teacher whatever - if it's just Money.

The firemaen do a good job - likewise so do a lot of other people and starting a rush on wage rises won't do any good, it'll just mean everyone will demand more, prices go up and a lot of people will be inconvenienced and of course the people who can't threaten to withold their labour eg disabled and retired people become worse off.

Was it just bad luck that the strike action rose its head just before "Bombfire Night"


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Jock Morris
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 05:18 AM

The level of UK fireman's pay has not kept pace with inflation, let alone kept pace with police pay, so they are having to strike to get back to where they were in real terms many years ago. To suggest somebody should change careers just because their job has not been properly rewarded for years is stupid when the job they are doing is so essential to the well being of the nation.

The fireman have made it very clear for many months now that they were unhappy about their level of pay and were considering strike action; the government has had plenty of time to take action to rectify the situation but has chosen not to.

I do believe that the firemen's decision to start their strike action just before Guy Fawkes night (let's give it its proper name) is somewhat ill advised if they wish to keep public support for their pay claim.

Scott


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: mooman
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 05:24 AM

From a personal point of view I think that firemen are woefully underpaid and do a superb and highly dangerous job. Teachers , nurses, probably policemen and other key workers are also massively underpaid. As are most scientists.

The real problem is that there is a huge distortion in society as to what is really valuable hence the huge salaries within many of the "parasitic professions" and the huge bonuses awarded to top executives of failing businesses, both of which are an abomination.

All IMHO of course!

mooman


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 05:48 AM

According to the local paper they are demanding a 40% increase in pay. The strike will reduce firefighting cover for the county from 220, well maintained, highly specialised vehicles, to 20 inferior Bedford trucks.

The 40% bit is an opening gambit in the negotiation, the counter offer is 4% as an interim, the compromise, as compromise it must be, will give the firefighters better pay - the degree to which they are better off at the conclusion will depend on how many jobs they are prepared to lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Julie B
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 06:26 AM

...I don't blame them one bit! Even people with "good" jobs are paid wages on which they have no hope of ever buying a place to live. Without a salary of at least £30 it's impossible to buy any sort of home, let alone a decent one in a decent area, in most places in the UK.

Of course, the irony is that the soldiers who will provide cover during any strike have far worse pay and conditions! But that doesn't make the firefighters wrong.

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Julie B
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 06:28 AM

...okay, okay! I meant "salary of 30K"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 06:53 AM

I remember the great Scottish Folk Singer Dick Gaughan saying during the miner's strike that he and his dad were talking and they could not remember a single time where any government had said a strike was justified. Governments of any persuasion always trot out the line about any strike hurting the old folk, children etc but fail to realise that they couldn't give a monkeys about those groups at any other time. The firemen deserve all they've asked for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Bassic
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 07:22 AM

Surely Firefighters pay is a classic case for some kind of independant pay review body. I am sure that this has been used with some success with other essential workers in the past. Properly set up, this kind of body should remove the need for strike action by ensuring parity with other simmilar jobs and taking the process outside politics and short term economic "prudence". Has this been tried? Anyone better informed than me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 07:30 AM

Now is the best time for the firemen to strike, it sort of gives us an idea of the trouble we would be in if we did not have them.

£30k is not much to pay people who walk into a burning building to save others at the risk of their own life, haven't seen many teachers or doctors or nurse's face such risks when they go to work.

Millions are paid to insurance companies every year with no return, why not let buildings burn to the ground and collect on insurance,the money firemen save in such instances alone make them worth £30k, and they cannot be paid enough when they pull a loved one out of burning buildings. They are worth it,take it off those who are non essential, like hospital managers and give it to those who do the hard work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 08:06 AM

Don't know many teachers or nurses who are paid salaries of £30k either! I'm with the fire fighters all the way and if blame is to levelled in the event of a catastrophe let it be at the government for not representing the very people who put them there!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 08:38 AM

Well put Mrs Duck, I'm not saying doctors and nurse's do not deserve more pay, they do deserve more than their managers do. We have a terrible habit of rewarding the wrong people with the high wages.

I wonder how much nurse's and fire fighter's in America earn, and I'm sure their wages are not begrudged to them .


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 12:05 PM

Hi Ireland, and others...
Here in New York City, where we burried what could be found of three hundred and fourty three firefighters, from a single event, and where firefighters will run into the same danger with out a moments hesitation, our bisinessman Mayor, is shutting down firehouses and reducing the size of the force through attriction, and forcing some off the force in order for them to keep a decent pention.
Don't worry about when these fellows strike, it is long overdue for your firefighteers to get a fare wage and fair treatment. Go stand with them and don't let what happened to your coal miners happen to them, or what is happening to our firefighters. In honnor of what these remarkable folks do, I hope the entire nation lines up in front of every fire brigage and stands with them as fast as they have always come to your aid.
I am reminded that a Mudcatter lost her father to lung desease up in Manchester, where an entire generation of fire fighters who stood up to the fire storms of the blitz paid the price for fighting fires every night, with life long damage to their health. For pities sake, don't ask why they are striking when they are, ask why your government has taken them for granted for so long!!!
In solidarity
Larry Otway


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: clansfolk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 12:45 PM

ummm - semms many feel the "Fire Fighters" should strike for more money and that 30k a year isn't a living wage? and a 35% pay rise is justified - to keep inline with inflation??

Couldn't agree more - let everyone have a 35% pay rise - that'll help - more taxes...............

Can heigher wages counteract the danger and deaths suffered by the fire brigade? The power to withhold ones labour in mass is a powerful weapon and used carefully and for the right reasons.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 12:57 PM

I don't object to paying a bit more on my tax bill. But more importantly I think those who do earn exhorbitant salaries should pay a lot more. Lets see a return to higher taxes for higher wages and let the rich pay for a change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 12:57 PM

Tony Blair has warned giving in to firefighters' demands for a 40% pay rise would force up mortgage interest rates and create "havoc" across the public sector.

Mr Blair said there is "no way" that any government could give in to such a demand.

And he urged the Fire Brigades Union to call off a series of strikes due to be begin in eight days' time, and to take part in a review of firefighters' pay and conditions.

Mr Blair said: "We hope, even now, that the unions can accept that if they have got a problem with wanting a new pay formula, we will look at that.

"We have got an independent review carrying out its work, but they can't come to us and say 'We want a new formula, we're not going to co-operate with your review and in the meantime you have got to give us a 40% pay rise'. No government could yield to that without putting up people's interest rates and their mortgage rates and causing havoc across the public sector, because other people in the public sector would say 'If they are getting 40%, I want 40%'."

Mr Blair acknowledged that the army Green Goddesses, on standby to provide emergency cover if firefighters do strike, would not be able to provide the same level of protection as that offered by fire brigades.

He said: "We will do everything we possibly can to make sure that the public is properly protected, but of course, it is a situation where we are not able to provide the full service that we would be able to if the firefighters were carrying out their duties.

"Let me make one thing very clear - we don't want a confrontation. We have done everything we possibly can to avoid it.

"But in the meantime, they are saying that they are not going to talk to this independent review, but file a wage claim that is 40% or more.

"We have tried everything we can to resolve this. We want to resolve it in an amicable way, but I think the public understands that we can't give in to demands that on no basis could any government give in to."


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:14 PM

Tony Blair is an arsehole, he knows exactly what i think of him. i wouldnt trust him one bit, he always looks a bit shifty if you ask me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,T Blair
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:18 PM

well I like u John - not sure about Hull (and hell or Halifax)

TB


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:24 PM

The poor buggers manning the Green Goddesses deserve the 40% pay rise. They are the real Heroes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:26 PM

Mr Blair-Why do you waste money on shite like the millenium dome,(cost nearly a billion pound!) instead of paying nurses, teachers , firefighters etc a decent wage, and why dont you keep your nose out of other peoples business, and look after this country, instead of concentrating on your TWAT project 9The War Against Terrerism)?
And before you bloody start & say the millenium was not built with taxpayers money, well it was still a waste, and why does lottery money not go to the NHS instead silly bullshit schemes.You wont give a good answer because you are full of shit.john


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:29 PM

You can also pass messages on to santa via mudcat!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:35 PM

And hers another thing you asshole- why when the UK is the highest taxed nation in Europe, do we have the longest waiting lists for operations?
I reckon this wont bother you, as you earn around £250,000 a year! and can afford private treatment.
And why does it suprise you that people go abroad to buy cigs, to save money,thats why.
And Why when around 90% of the price of petrol are the roads in such a state, and you expect us to pay road tolls, you must be bloody joking!
And why do we still have junior doctors working over 100 hours a week?
If you did more than 48 in a facyory it would be illegal, but your government decided to exempt doctors from the Working Hours Directive!
Your full of shit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:38 PM

See, no answer, he is full of shit.john


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:39 PM

Is Hull really that depressing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:41 PM

I think this is typical of those who run our country,Labour or conservative, they let things fester until they pop, and then to solve the problems it hurts more than it would have if they had paid attention at the beginning.

Blair is looking a gentlemanly approach to discussions,pity he did not think of it years ago and done the right thing with a decent pay rise each year instead of leaving people to strike to get their point across.

Maybe if some bonfires are cancelled on safety grounds it will show some that the fire brigade play a more subtle role in society than just putting out fires and attending road accidents. They do a lot more than given credit for only problem is it is out of the publics view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:46 PM

John in Hull, you've just surpassed Spaw in coming up with the MOST outrageous acronym I've seen on Mudcat, that of TWAT for the The War On Terrorism! I don't know about over there, but over here in the States, "twat" is slang for a woman's private parts! LOL!!

As to the wages, I believe a person has to be assertive in getting what they deserve. If it takes a strike so be it. I doubt anyone would want to go back to the old days, as they've mentioned on Antiques Roadshow, where the firefighters did not put out fires, unless a building had a plaque mounted on an outside wall showing what insurance company would cover the costs. If one didn't have a plaque, from what I understand, one was SOL (shit out of luck.)

If only the insurance companies did have to contribute from their profits specifically for this!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:51 PM

Kat-I reckon Mr Blairs well used acronym suits him very well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 01:55 PM

Firemen are financially no worse off than other public service workers. There is no shortage of recruits to the fire service. Compare that with the chronic shortage of nurses in the UK. Nurses are propping up the NHS and a big pay rise would boost moral and applicantions to Nurse training. One thing the nurses won't do is put vulnerable people at risk and strike.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: JudeL
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 02:03 PM

It is not that firefighters don't deserve a pay ris ethey do - but please don't think they re the only ones who risk their health and their lives , others who work in the public sector do too. OFTEN FROM THOSE WHO THEY ARE TRYING TO HELP! and they do it with far less publicity or thanks


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: caz2ufolk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 02:05 PM

Oh that was funny TWAT project I like that one. As for the strike I'm with you... but 40% a bit high. Fire fighters should be paid a rate for playing snooker! and a different rate for a call out. I heard this morning that the soldiers may be forced to cross the picket line for specialist equipment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 02:28 PM

I wonder that no one's told Blair about TWAT? :-) Sorry, no more drift...

This thread reminds me that those of service generally are never compensated enough for their work and it is not fair to any of them to compare them to one another as they are each of vital need, e.g. nurses, police, firefighters, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 02:29 PM

I thought it was Bush's TWAT?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 02:38 PM

aNd other thing-why is it that my frend called Paul the fireman, has to work doing electrician jobs to make more money?
they dont get paid enough thats why!
fireman arent supposed to have other jobs, so dont tell anyone.john


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 02:47 PM

Firemen work at other jobs because their shift systems allow them to. If nurses spent all nightshift in their pits they would have two jobs. But seriously their shift patterns make it possible to do so. I know several firemen and they all have second jobs. Some even have their own businesses. If perhaps your mate Tony gave them a large settlement on the condition they changed their shift patterns and agreed to give up other work they would shit themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 02:56 PM

So the fire fighters are on strike for a pay rise for nurse's,doctor's,teachers,hospital workers,who ever else in the public sector. And at last for themselves, these previous workers have had their fights with the government did they ask about the fire fighters pay no.

These men cannot fight everyone's fight what they are doing is highlighting their plight and in doing so it brings peoples attention to others plight.

I do not begrudge the fire fighters playing whatever games they play,simply because they go towards what most off us run from, and if they get some relaxation after cleaning their units and clearing up after fires imo they are welcome to it. I watched fire fighters put out a blaze under the attack of scum who wanted the property to burn, they got their hoses chopped, viciously assaulted hit by bricks ,petrol bombed and rammed into by joy riders, they do deserve their pay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 03:01 PM

The firemen are after what they can get for themselves and sod the consequences. Who said they were fighting for others in the public sector?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 03:57 PM

A little more drift...my term for Bush's TWAT is TWOO or WOO (like an owl's hoot, not the number 2), The War of Obfuscation...pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! I guess it could also be WOOF using two letters from the last word.:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 04:04 PM

I had a close friend, many years ago, who died in London in a fire-he was a fireman)

I couldn't agree more with most of what has been said here.(Though-many nurses, doctors and teachers, social workers etc are assulted, some very seriously, and some killed!) The public services in the UK have seen a massive erosion of their pay over the last 20+ odd years. To say, "you choose" a career, or job and then accept the pay structure is an over-simplification. If you choose the job, and then your job declines in status, respect, value and also take home wages, then you have every right to be peeved to say the least.Then to say let's all have a pay rise then taxes will go up-is a bit daft. When Executives get their big pay rises, what goes up? PRICES!
The "independent" review bodies, are nothing except government puppets, even if they recommend a pay rise, it is not accepted by the government.
There have been incredible amounts of money earned by the fat cats, and it seems only the "outrageous" raise an outcry, what about the massive wages earned in other sectors? Mooman has got it right! But it's only half the story. There are many fat kittens who earn enormous amounts of money.

Everyone (almost) praises the earning of huge profits, but moans when ordinary people want a decent wage. Take a supermarket chain taking £30,000,000.00 profit-don't forget you and I have been earning them that, by paying over the odd for their goods.Like most things in the UK, over priced, profit first, people last!

Well I hope they go on strike until they win, I hope teachers, nurses, doctors and every other public service worker goes on strike until decent pay and conditions are part of their right,since they choose to do the job!

Joh9n my friend, you are quite right-Tony Blair et al are a bunch of TWATS. Since Mrs B earns about half a million a year (geting very rich through figting for womens rights) and Tony about a quarter of a million-the hypocrisy of most MP's is amazing.

Put it this way.........

How much would you pay for someone to risk their life for yours?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 07:15 PM

Isn't that the whole point - HOW MUCH do you put on someone risking their life? Maybe we should go back to the days of the old "Fire plaques" on the wall and if a private fire service turned up at a fire insured by another company they wouldn't do anything, charge everyone for the insurance and pay the fire men more.

The people who have died trying to save or saving someone from a fire (whether fire men. police or civilians)still would have died whatever their pay check was.

Will the fire men be picketing fires during the strike?? or standing by on the other side of the road watching someone burn to death? I doubt it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,out of it now
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 07:31 PM

I wouldn't be a fireman for a 100% pay rise .... but that's why I didn't apply for the job - I didn't like the looks of the job and no amount of money would have convinced me - however I do believe there is a waiting list for the job... even at its current rate of pay.

I didn't stand for parliament either - why would it appear do these wonderful people that are voted in suddenly become "TWATS" when they make desisions we don't agree with a bit like when we were kids and couldn't get our own way with Mums and Dads ... everyone can do a better job than the person we ellect to do it


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Teribus
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 03:57 AM

TWAT - The War Against Terrorism - Love it, LOL!!!

TWAT apart, a 40% pay rise, which practicaly everyone seems to support, in order to have the public sector workers adequately compensated for the work they do is fine and easily achievable - all the people supporting them have to do is pay for it - nothing could be simpler.

Oh, the tax the rich scheme never really works, because the rich just move to more favourable locations. Pierre Trudeau once explained it very clearly to the opposition parties in Canada as follows (figures given are given merely to demonstrate the point and are not representative):

You are rich, you have the choice of paying 30% tax in Canada or 35% tax in the USA. Where do you live? On the other hand you can pay 35% in the USA or 40% in Canada. Where do you live? So by increasing the tax burden on the rich by 10% to finance the schemes you want to see introduced, the rich move and the Canadian Treasury recovers less in revenue than before. But as the money has already been allocated the tax burden on the poor has to be increased to compensate or the schemes have to be cancelled.

Please note it is easier to do this in Europe under EU Regulations.

I also noted that in describing the "fat cats", corporations, companies and their executives are mentioned. What about top flight footballers, musicians and entertainers. Anybody reckon that kicking a football round a pitch for ninety minutes a week is worth £120,000?

What about deciding what a top salary should be, then anything earned over the top goes to the government to pay for the public sector wage bill? Don't think you would get many takers - again, they'd move.

Companies need profits to exist and grow. With that growth comes jobs, from those jobs comes tax revenue. Fact of life is that the bulk of tax collected will come from the masses, not the few, so if you want the public sector to be well paid - put your hands in your pockets and either pay up or shut up, there is no such thing as Government Money - It's yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: JudeL
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 02:51 PM

BTW - the starting offer to firemen was 4% the starting offer to those working in local govt was less than 2% and even after a one day strike and negotiations the final offer was still only 3% from April and another 1/2% from sept and 2/3 of those working in local govt earn less on full time pay than the average allowance paid to councillors. Oh and this is at least in part a gender thing as more than 70% of those who work in local govt are women


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 05:13 PM

Well Teribus, quite right- I should have included the whole list of well overpaid people,from football players upwards to and including musicians etc Got nothing against people having lots of money. The rich don't always move on if they are taxed more (Take Richard Branson and quite a few others ( But I know what you mean)But, look at it this way, if you are really rich, you don't need MORE-it's a bit like reversing the argument "you take the job and know the pay". The same applies to the rich-you could take the job because you want to do it, are skilled at it, not because you'll become a millionaire several times over.

It is a complex arguement I agree. Perhaps if profit and greed had never been the second most common trait of humans , but had been the least common trait, then life would be so much different, and people would argue about the rights of the individual to aquire wealth above the masses instead of the other way round as it is now.

Secondly-again quite right, though I haven't fogotten it myself. The money government miss spends is ours. But please don't forget many of the rich (how ever they got their money) have got it by exploitation of the poor, primarily and historically by bullying, threatening,taking by force and coercion. Then by giving poor wages and making huge profits.(Don't start about profits-I agree re-investment is vital)

Quite interesting that you say "comapanies need profits to invest and grow, from this comes tax revenue from the employed" -because as soon as there is the smallest amount of threat to profit-who suffers? The workforce, who are made redundant, and kicked out of jobs to become a tax burden via state support.How many executives (as a comparative figure) loose almost everything, as a factory worker does when they are made redundant? Sorry it doesn't wash with me.

As for me personally, I do put my hands in my pocket, I do pay my taxes, I do support public sector workers getting more money, I support the underwaged geting more money. I don't need to shut up-I pay up willingly.

I hope they win!!!!!!

I mostly dislike most politicians, they change their minds and tunes as flies on a piece of dog mess.One minute they are "hear hearing" for the support of the underwaged and poor, the next they are telling us "It's totally wrong to try and gain a decent pay rise!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: alanabit
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 05:50 PM

Sorry to be the flamer here - and I only had time to read the first twenty or so posts, but here's my take on firemen's pay:
In Germany, it is estimated that young people on average watch twenty eight and a half hours of television a week. We can confidently say (supported by viewing figures) that most of the TV which they watch is that which has a standard twenty-one minutes advertising per hour. That means that our kids are watching around ten hours of advertising a week. (Mine certainly do not come up to the national average). I am willing to argue at length that this advertising - highly skilled and calculated - does hideous damage to our society. Not one of the people whom I have met who works in that industry would be prepared to risk their neck for the same money as a fireman. Ultimately, we pay for both groups of workers. Which do you want to pay for?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Gareth
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 06:51 PM

I can't argue about the UK firemen being worth a basic of £30K per annum.

I can say that with a no strings investigation revue and enquiry underway that this strike is unneccessary, and damaging.

BTW What insurance company profits from underwriting - can any catter show where these are ?

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: breezy
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 05:52 PM

The timing coincides with Bon-fire nights.
Sorry fire-fighters, but your credibility is called into question.It is you who could be said to put the public at risk at the most crucial time of the year.
You're better off not rocking the boat that allows you to have 2 occupations, 5 days on 5 nights on, how about it? yes or no
They are bringing in cheap staff for classrooms now, ready to have cheap support in the fire-brigade?
If you want what someone else has then do that job
If only 1 in 38 applicants become firemen then there's no shortage thus the pay must be O.K., not so in teaching, nor nursing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: alanabit
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 05:58 PM

Have you seen the unemployment figures lately Breezy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 07:59 PM

I dont care about strike right or wrong but no one should have a firemans strike over the guy fawkes holiday period.
I say put the firemen on the Nov.5 bonfire and let them burn for that.

Culture comes before greed!

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,GerMan
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 06:38 AM

To suggest that £20,000.00 per year isn't a living wage is ridiculous. Where I live I don't know anyone that earns much more than this (MOST EARN LESS) & no-one's complaining.

Well no-one complaining apart from me that is. I would need a 35% pay rise to reach what Fireman are on now & I've got a good degree. Why is it only the public sector that express the "need" for higher pay. There must be thousands of hard working office staff around the country who are a damn sight worse off than the Fireman.

We'd all like more pay but lets face it the country's in the brown stuff & until the global economy improves we'll have to stick with what we've got.

Fireman deserve more cash maybe but so do a hell of a lot of others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 07:23 AM

Following the above thread-drift. The was once a major airline. "Trans World Airways". One stewardess asked a passenger if he'd like some T.W.A. coffee. His response was somewhat coarse (and obvious!)

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 08:07 AM

M husband was a young senior fire officer in London (1965 to 1991) during the last strike in 1977 and spent the entire period going to fires and advising the military in the West End of London and beyond. By the time the police had assessed the fire and the military had attended, the fires were often well out of control with the whole building involved when he arrived. Little was reported in the press for various reasons and the public at large had no conception of what was actually occurring; Ministers were well aware as indeed were insurance companies when claims were subsequently submitted.

Based upon his experiences of that period, losses will be huge and eventually we will all pay through increased insurance premiums. It must also be noted that many Local Authorities carry the first £100 - £200k loss for each and every incident to reduce their overall insurance premium – again it is the public who will pay via the community charge. It would be interesting to see the figure by which business and domestic rates would have to rise to pay say, at least a 20% pay rise. I don't believe it is anything like the figures being put forward by the Government.

My biggest concern is for road users. Fire crews attend road accidents within very short periods and together with paramedics preserve and save many lives that would otherwise be lost. Very limited numbers of specialist rescue crews will be positioned around the country by the military; they will be insufficient and lacking in experience, albeit they will gain it quickly and once committed to an incident will be unavailable elsewhere. Currently, every fire appliance in the UK has expertise and equipment to effect vehicle and similar types of extrication. Without that rapid intervention many people will die without any doubt whatsoever. Anybody who states otherwise is either a liar, ill advised or an utter fool.

I would suggest that to reduce the inevitable deaths that will occur, a maximum speed limit of 50mph should be introduced during strike days and a minimum distance imposed between vehicles. Both of these measures should be rigidly enforced. There are many more deaths from road accidents on a daily basis than from fires.

Having said all that, 'YES' I do beleive that these men deserve a descent wage to live on in London, most who have a familey receive Income support, what is our county coming too when we pay a Fireman 21K yet a train driver can get a salary of 30k + (no offence to any of you Mudcatter who drive trains)

The same applies to doctors and nurses they too deserve a descent wage.

Rock Chick


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ritchie
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 08:28 AM

What have the Roman's ever done for us ?

regards Ritchie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: HuwG
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 08:55 AM

Dear Mrs. Guest, would a "descent" wage be applied as a sliding scale of salaries ?

I recall that I was in Butetown, a rather notorious part of Cardiff, during the last firemens' strike. A club, the "New Amsterdam", at the top of Bute Street, was burned to the ground during it. I passed it later that night and saw the Green Goddesses clustered around, with the RAF crewmen manning them toasting bread and sausages on the smouldering remains. They never did pin anything on the owners, or the congregation of the nearby Methodist Chapel, but lots of people had a motive for removing the place ...

I would advise owners of premises in inner-City areas to read their insurance documents very carefully, and insurers of said premises to check their customers, cynic that I am.

The news this morning was that the hotline (groan) between government and firemen was open, and there may be a meeting between John Prescott (Deputy PM) and the firemens' union in the next two days. Fingers crossed ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:25 AM

Now if every politician who says the fireman aren't worth the money would take a pay cut to the level they are asking, perhaps you might start to believe them.

I've often thought that there ought to be a rule that, when anybody appears on TV or writes in the papers about this kind of thing, there ought to be a label saying how much nmoney they get paid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 07:01 PM

How much do you earn McGrath?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 12:38 AM

Reminds me of the old campfire song --- Burn Baby Burn ---Shhh, Shhh, Shee, Shee.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 05:57 AM

"London's burning, London's burning
Fetch the engine, fetch the engine
They're striking, They're striking!
Pause
Pause
Pause
OH S**T!"

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: alanabit
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 07:31 AM

McGrath has not advocated paying anybody less, so he is quite entitled to reticence about his financial status.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: rock chick
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 09:19 AM

Just a thought about who worth what, all the above are worth more than any politician, what do they do for their money? other than waffle and shout at each other, I'am sure if they or any member of their family or indeed yourselves needed cutting our of a mangled vehicle or rescuring from their /your BURNING house they/you would be more than happy to to say these men/ladies deserve every penny they work for and put their lives on the line for.

Public worker pay

   
                  FIREFIGHTER   STAFF NURSE TEACHER    POLICEMAN
   
STARTING SALARY    £16,941      £16,005    £16,632    £18,264
   
MIN PAY AFTER 4yrs £21,531      £17,670    £19,524    £22,992
   
MIN PAY AFTER 15yrs £22,491    £20,655    £25,746    £28,905
   
   
Figures exclude London weighting
SOURCES: Fire Brigades Union, Dept for Education, Royal College of Nursing, Police Federation


Rock Chick


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,GerMan
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 09:22 AM

Interesting to see that the more skills & training required for a job the less you get paid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 09:24 AM

Rock Chick,
It might be worth adding to your list the length and level of training and education needed to receive the above starting salaries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Bagpuss
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 09:33 AM

Nursing - 2-4 years training (diploma or degree?)

Teaching - 4 years (BEd) or 3/4 year degree plus 1 year PGCE

Firefighting - I think its something like 16 weeks training then one year training/probation?

Police - don't know


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: rock chick
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 09:48 AM

Fireman basic training is approx 15 weeks but they also have
in-service training, it's worth adding that you do not get your maximum pay after 15 years.

Nurses, I believe take a few years to train they also have in-service training.

Teacher, I believe it a few years,(however if the Government get their way classroom support assistance will be doing their job)

Police, I believe they are similar to the Fire Service, but don't take my word for it.

I only really know about the Fire as I put a thread on the site on the 24th October, but unfortunately my registration had lapsed so it listed me as a Guest! I have now rectified this, I hope.

Rock Chick


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Bagpuss
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 09:58 AM

Police is 18 weeks training plus 2 years probation


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Shields Folk
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 10:12 AM

Nurse training is a minimum of three years. A significant number of newly qualified nurses decline to take up employment after first registering due to poor pay and moral in the NHS, however putting vulnerable people in danger by striking for higher pay is not an option.

The fire unions are not stupid enough to think that they will get a 40% pay rise, what they expect is a series of high profile meetings with the government and a lower settlement that will give the impression to the public that they are prepared to be conciliatory to prevent striking (or further striking if it has already begun), and putting the public at risk. Very cynical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 07:09 AM

No less cynical than governments who constantly use the same emotional blackmail to put their cases.

viz; Teachers/ETA's strikes damage pupils chances.

Nurses/doctors strikes damage the ill and infirm etc. None of which is particularly true, nurses and teachers etc,who are burned out, stressed and working beyond the ability to be humanly efficient arn't efficient, they are suffering, and so are their families let alone patient/pupil care and progress.

Cynism is rife.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,Londons burning...
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 07:38 AM

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the firefighters claim for better pay....They should never threaten to withold their essential cover regards tackling fires....Thats totaly immoral....life is worth more than money..

I think they stand far more chance of getting things sorted by maintaining the high moral ground and continuing to provide essential cover whilst perhaps not attending non emergency situations and continuing to press their cae in the media....

Another thing that has transpired during this dispute is that they are less at risk than workers within the construction industry and several other heavy manual occupations...and that they arent in the thick of ghastly fires that threaten their lives every day of their lives or indeed very often or sometimes at all...much of the time they spend their time watching TV,playing cards and getting upto all sorts of enjoyable mischief during theirs shifts at the fire station,many of them vigorously oppose any changes to their 4 on 4 off shift patterns as they run businesses and do other jobs such as drive cabs etc with all the time they have at their disposal,and what about just doing whats right,doing ones duty,helping society,the origins of all the emergency services are steeped in a history of volunteering ones self in times of crisis for the good of everybody...Fire fighters must never lose sight of this proud tradition of which the fire brigade have always played their noble part..


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: JudeL
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 07:46 AM

Last month official figures identified that there were over 4,000 unfilled vacant teaching posts in England ( this figure does not include the additional posts where the teacher appointed is waiting for CRB check to be completed) In social care Local Authorities have been having such problems in recruiting and retaining staff that they are even going as far away as South Africa for staff. Often the staff who come over find that the cost of living compared to the pay is not worth it and leave. The average basic earnings in this country is £19,406 per annum.   2/3 of local govt staff earn less than £13,000 a year even after this year's pay rise. Vacancy rates vary around the country and in different sections but average out at around 1 in 4 posts being a long term unfilled vacancy. These are a group of people who provide local services to all of us and to whom we entrust our most vulnerable people, the disabled ,the young and the elderly, and who if (god forbid) anything goes wrong get crusified by the press. Yes we do go into public services because we want to make a difference but you don't get quality services from an overworked underpaid stressed workforce many of whom are leaving because they cannot afford to stay, and are fed up of having to claim means tested benefits just to eat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: JudeL
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 08:00 AM

The firemen's threat to strike is not cynical it comes from a level of frustration at being ignored over a substantial length of time. Villifying them because they are threatening to withdraw their labour is a much more cynical, calculating and manipulative thing to do. Some are calling it selfish, but until they threatened to strike the govt wasn't taking much (if any) notice and just because a pay review body recommends something does not make it binding on the govt to accept and pay what is recommended. 40% sounds like a lot but remember this is the opening position, and whatever a group ask for they are likely to be offered a lot less until the figure settled on usually comes somewhere in between.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 08:24 AM

When the stress and the pay drives people out of a job such as these, the effect is very much the same as if they went on strike - so why isn't this treated in the same way, with them being accused of putting vulnerable people at risk by deserting their posts?

The reason why is because that would get perilously close to slavery.

But one reason why people stick in these kind of jobs is because quitting them can feel like a kind of desertion. This helps enable the employers to escape the normal market process that would drive up the wages. Wages are lower in these kind of jobs because of the same kind of moral pressure that operates whether it comes to leaving the job or going on strike.

People in these kinds of jobs don't want to go on strike, and they very rarely do - even if you includethe occasional "days of action" which happen as a way of showing muscle, as well as the real sustained strikes, which are very rare indeed.

When eventually a strike is seen as the only way, this is then presented as being the strikers exercising moral blackmail on the employers, on account of the vulnerable people put at risk. But the truth is far more the other way round, with the employers as the moral blackmailers.

Of course in any bargaining process you ask for more than you hope or expect to settle for. And the other side offers less than it's prepare to give. That's the rules of the bargaining process. It may be silly at times, but it's not cynical. If either side (but more especially the unions) were to go in and put their final demand on the table and refuse to budged they'd be denounced as inflexible and obstinate.

There should be a better way of doing these things, involving genuinely independent arbitration, but so far it always gets undermined. Either the independent arbitrators aren't independent, or their findings are rejected. Perhaps computer simulations of strikes might be a possibility, to give an indication of which side is going to be able to tough it out better, allowing for public anger at things going wrong, and working out who that would hurt more...


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 06:35 PM

Though I cannot remember exactly when, but some, not too many years ago. There was published a report suggesting that after so many years of neglect and low pay awards, what with changing tax rules etc. Most public servants needed a 30% pay rise to catch up. About 7 - 8 years ago I think.

Anybody else remember this?

If it was so then, then 40% is about right now!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 01:30 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:48 AM

It was interesting seeing comparative salaries. Here's another one

State School Librarians
First degree
Post Graduate
Professional qualification

Tasks to look after several hundred kids single handed particularly at lunch and break times and after school

Salary : £10000 - £16000 pro rata term time only (but you have to work outside term time to keep the place running on an unpaid basis)if most of the adverts are to be believed.

So why do they do it without striking because the majority of workers are women and it's seen as a second wage.We also have a chartered institute as we are a profession rather than a union.

We see teachers getting publicity about their conditions and wages. The Government reward them with packages. I'm surprised mosst of us don't run off to be train drivers and firefighters. Or you can do as I,ve done and sell your soul to the private sector to get a living wage.

Sarah


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:48 AM

My Brother Bill's a soldier bold,
he puts out fires
His engine's fifty-two years old
He puts out fires

He went to fight a fire last night
Fireworks going like dynamite
He said "Give them what they ask - they're right."
He puts out fires.


Cheers


Steven


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,Londons burning
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:52 AM

Are any of the apologists for the firefighters refusing to attend fires going to support them if anyone they know dies in a fire or an excruciating death trapped in the mangled wreckage of a road accident because of the totaly inadequate dads army cover by the army trying to tackle situations the brigade are meant to be there to deal with..Yes they are entitled to earn a decent wage,but they are also moraly obligated regardless of money to do everything within their powers to save lives in an emergency....Yes by all means mount pickets outside fire stations,march on parliament...mount public campaigns to draw attention to their worries over their income,but for Gods sake do not allow people,babies,old people,young people,anybody to roast or suffocate inside burning buildings or bleed to death by the roadside because of money...some things are too important in this life..They do their case no good at all if they continue this policy of withdrawing their labour and waiting for an inevitable tragedy "tragedies" to happen that should have been prevented...their conscencies will suffer,and their good names will suffer for ever...The fire brigade is not a service that can ever be denied..


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Bagpuss
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 05:40 AM

From the news reports I have read this morning, it seems that firefighters *are* in fact attending those fires where lives are endangered. I know they made sure there was nobody in danger at the fireworks factory in Manchester before the army arrived to put out the fire.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Bagpuss
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 05:46 AM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/firefighters/story/0,12536,840705,00.html

Firefighters will not try to stop troops taking and using red fire engines from their stations if a second scheduled strike goes ahead, Fire Brigade Union chief Andy Gilchrist said today.
The government has indicated that the more sophisticated fire engines would be used if the eight-day stoppage goes ahead on November 22 following the current two-day strike.

"Firefighters are neither prepared nor looking to hinder the armed forces. I don't think you will see unarmed firefighters taking on the forces from the military. But there is an issue about safety.

"These are extremely complex and technical pieces of equipment and whatever skills the armed forces have, they certainly don't have the necessary skills to operate modern fire engine."

The army's latest figures said soldiers had attended 1,279 incidents by 2pm yesterday - making it likely that at least 1,500 calls will have been answered by the same time today.

Following the second night of strike action, the number of people who have died in house fires has reached seven.

The latest deaths are believed to be a 32-year-old mother and her three children, aged eight, 11 and 15, who died when their property was ravaged by fire in the hamlet of Sleight Cottages near Devizes in Wiltshire. One man was taken to Princess Margaret hospital in Swindon.

A five-strong fire crew from the nearby village of Calne, who are members of the Fire Brigades Union, broke the firefighters' strike to fight the blaze, which began at around 2am today.

Chief fire officer Neil Wright of Wiltshire fire brigade said 15 of the 16 fire stations in the local area were manned by retained firefighters and had been working as normal despite the strike.

Mr Wright added that because the vast majority of firefighters who attended the blaze were not taking part in the strike, the industrial action had had "no effect" on their handling of the blaze.

"We are quite fortunate inasmuch as 15 of the 16 retained stations are working as normal. The one that is not is Calne. We did page Calne and they responded. They broke the strike because it was a life call," he said.

Mr Wright said there were around 35 firefighters at the scene at the height of the blaze with eight fire engines in attendance. He said fire crews were on the scene within 10 minutes of the call, a response time he described as "excellent".

The first fire crews at the farmhouse made desperate efforts to rescue the four people trapped inside but were unsuccessful, he said. He said: "They attempted to get into the house but the fire was so severe that they were forced out. They did know there were people in there and they made dramatic efforts to get into the premises to rescue those people but the ferocity of the fire made that impossible."

Mr Gilchrist said he was satisfied none of the deaths in fires across the UK during the strike could be attributed to the action.

"Firefighters have made an attendance at life threatening incidents and that will continue," he said.

In Surrey, two firefighters crossed a picket line to help to resuscitate a man who had attempted to commit suicide in a department store, while in Manchester strikers joined soldiers in tackling a huge fire at a fireworks warehouse.

The actions of the picket-breaking fire crews were praised by Mr Gilchrist, who said: "This is a further example of the fact that our members are the ultimate humanitarians, whether on duty, off duty or on strike."


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: JudeL
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 06:06 AM

I am ashamed that a govt which calls itself labour could be so morally bankcrupt as to cynically provoke this strike. By manipulating what was supposed to be an independant review, and then offering the firemen less than what was originally on the table and adding so many strings to it that the offer was effectively an insult. If instead of offering them 4% this year with strings and 7% next if they agreed to changes which included reducing staffing levels ( the main thrust of this so called modernisation), they had offered a high % ( maybe 8% or 9%) this year and an agreement to have a % or so above inflation for the next few years , it is likely that they would not now be on strike. It seems that the govt want to have this confrontation and any deaths will be their responsibility and their choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,Parthenon
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 06:53 AM

Plumbers are now charging 50 pounds for an emergency call-out. People have to pay it because if they don't, the plumber will not come again next time. This is private enterprise, and has been welcomed by successive governments. Firemen asking for a living wage are deemed parasites, because they are paid out of the public purse. It seems as though the only answer acceptable to the government and sections of the media is to privatise the fire brigade, and have the recipient of the service pay for it, cash, as the need arise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Grab
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 07:16 AM

Sarah, "do it without striking"?! A friend of mine teaches at a local college, and the teachers there were out on strike yesterday. I was at uni for four years - during that time there were two strikes by lecturers. I suggest you look at your statistics.

It also very much depends on the price you put on your life. We don't begrudge the military good wages, bcos they're putting themselves in harm's way. But firemen are putting themselves in harm's way at every fire they attend. A soldier getting shot on peacekeeping duties gets calls for action from the papers and MPs - by contrast, the death of a fireman is lucky to make a column-filler in the national papers.

A large part of this comes down to regional variations, too. In most parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England, you can live like a king on £20K - I presume this is the area "GerMan" comes from. Get south of Birmingham, and you can only just afford to rent a single room in a shared house on those wages (not a joke - I live in Cambridge and I read the property ads). It's utterly impossible to support a family on those wages in south England, unless you're lucky and don't have to buy a house (eg. inheriting a house from parents/grandparents). If I was a skilled professional working in an extremely dangerous job which required me to work shifts, I'd be expecting some kind of pay which at least let me afford a small mid-terrace house of my own! The pay problems would be less if public sector workers were allowed regional variations according to the cost of living.

Should they strike? I'd prefer it if they didn't. But if you don't have a right to strike, what should you do when your employer persists in treating you like crap? Why should they have to put up with that? "Londons burning", would you put up with a job where you were treated like that?

Anyway, as we've seen, the firemen will always break their strike to attend fires where people are in danger - they're not prepared to stand by and see people killed bcos of the strike. I respect them for that.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Teribus
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 07:23 AM

Grab,

"Should they strike? I'd prefer it if they didn't. But if you don't have a right to strike, what should you do when your employer persists in treating you like crap? Why should they have to put up with that?"

You are their employer - lobby your MP and local authority - give them their pay rise in full and pay for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 07:49 AM

Following the second night of strike action, the number of people who have died in house fires has reached seven. (Guardian)

I usually feel well informed when reading the GUARDIAN, but this line is completely uninformative since we are not told if that is more or less than the usual number of fire deaths for two nights. I guess it's more but I have no idea where to get the necessary information. Does any of the British Mudcatters have this information? I intend to use that line from the GUARDIAN as an example for stupid reporting of useless statistics in a course.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 08:12 AM

Yes they should get more money, but they have many benefits that come with the job which should be taken into account:

No overtime - I think many people would like to be able to work a 37.5 hour week

2 days and 2 nights (sleeping at the station when not out on call) of duty then 4 days off

Generous holidays

A job for life

Retirement at 50

I have a cousin in the fire service in a major city who told me how he was being paid for sleeping on the premises; of the number of books he gets through a year on standby duty; of the volleyball they play to pass the time on duty; of the second jobs they all have because they have the spare time.

I am not anti-firemen, but let's understand the whole picture, not the selective stuff that they tell us and I won't even mention sex and race discrimination in the service.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Bagpuss
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 08:26 AM

Wolfgang, it is impossible to say whether this number is more than for a normal day. It's higher than average, but about 50% of days will have a higher than average number of deaths (if its a normal distribution). I know the average is something like 1.5 people killed per day, but I have no idea of how wide the distribution is normally, or whether 7 people killed in a day would be unusual - I suspect not.. By just looking at the numbers for one night, we can't draw any conclusions about whether the strike affects the death rate, the sample is too small to draw any conclusions simply by the numbers. The real info will come when (and if) we hear about people killed who were attended by the army but would have had a much better chance if they were attended by the fire service.

Guest - everyone chats about the perks of their job - but how much does he tell you about the harrowing and dangerous nature of the job when he is called out? And surely the shift patterns they have are a good thing if it means they are not overtired and stretched and therefore liable to make mistakes. Something the NHS could learn from especially as regards junior doctors.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: rock chick
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 02:23 PM

Having been married to a Fire Officer for 27years I can tell you they deserve every penny they have asked for, their wages have fallen well behind over the years, to say they should not take the job because of the pay is not an answer, most of our f/men are on income support because their earning are so low. They are not meant to sleep whilst on duty, but do, and I'm sure some Officers turn a blind eye to this practice, and why not as long as they are there in 5mins to put out your fire and save your lives. They do an unbelievable job, would any of you do it? Train driver get 30k how can you even compare them to Fire fighters (nothing against any mudcatters who drive train)

Don't believe all you hear on the news either, my daughter also works for the FB on the 999 calls and last night it said that there had been 100 call in London, that's an outright lie, there were at least 500.

Also these men and woman do not get a penny whilst on strike so I expect the government will starve them back to work like the last strike 25 years ago, I hope they stick it out, and I for one will be collecting for them and giving them all the support they need.

My family's lives are at danger whilst the strike is on, but so are theirs.

Those Firemen (part time) that crossed the picket line and took an Engine then parked it in the police station car park so they could attend fire forgot to mention that they have other jobs so don't need the extra money they are already earning a reasonable wage, they should have stood by their colleagues.

It's coming up to Xmas these men and their families are going to have a very hard time, I hope the so called government come to an agreement soon for everyone's sake, the offer they made 4% this year and 7% next (don't forget inflation, minus that will make it about 3 – 4% in true figures) is an insult to brave men and woman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,Londons burning
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 02:49 PM

Sorry but I do not feel at all reassured by a process of debate taking place by the striking firefighters as to whether they think an incident merits sufficient importance for them to abandon the picket line and attend...A proper and responsble fire service should be operationaly ready and willing to attend calls at all times without question...as was proven by the delay this evening after the first strike ended in the army not being able to hand back cover to the brigades until they had carried out normal equipment checking procedures...picketing fireman cannot be properly ready with all equipment and appliances checked to respond to emergency call out...When a fire or road traffic accident occurs seconds count...the brigade need to be on their way as soon as they are called by control...Sorry chaps the cover of the fire service isnt a service that can be withdrawn at the whim of militant union leaders....protecting life is far too important..


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:09 PM

Very sadly, every day in this country people die in fires and other accidents, they hardly make a news line except in the local papers.

But of course, the media will now publicise every single death, and the Government will wring it's hands and tell us that this is what the firemans strike is doing. I still support them, they deserve a decent wage.

Haven't you ever stopped to think that the wages paid to the workers in this country are determined by the rich? Who, mostly have little idea of what a struggle it is to raise a family, find a decent affordable house and try for a reasonable comfortable lifestyle.

How much is a politician worth? Wages for very little I'd say, since they need little qualification or skill to do the job, and yet they still vote themselves big salaries.

I don't care if firemen sleep at work, I don't care if they playbasketball, because when they are at a fire-they are risking their lives every minute for us!!!! And maybe you, next time.

I wonder if any of you objectors will tell them "sod off you were on strike and I don't support you" when they have to come and put the fire out in your house, or are cutting you free from your wrecked car-go on tell them they were not worth the wage they get-Get real


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:18 PM

rock chick,

So why doesn't your husband become a train driver?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:22 PM

I have to agree with the above guest.

We live in a free market economy, so if you don't like your job, think it's unfair that others get paid more etc. CHANGE YOUR JOB!

No one is forcing you to stay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 05:26 PM

One thing that strikes me about this whole thing is a cynical use of language as a way of manipulating how people see the situation.

What I have in mind is the way that the proposals for changing the way the fire service, and changing the way in which the work of firefighters is organised, is described with the words "reform" and "modernisation". This is done, it seems clear, with the intention of ensuring that people in the media, and their readers and listeners, will assume that any changes described with those words must be desirable improvements. Obviously, we are led to believe, efforts to resist "reforms" must be short-sighted, selfish and irresponsible.

But as the firemen see it, the proposed changes include many things that would be actually undesirable, and would damage the ability of the fire service to provide the best possible services. What they are really about is cutting costs and cutting corners.

For example one of the demands of the government is that the ban on firemen doing overtime should be abolished. But overtime is a rotten way to run a service - it may make it possible to get by with fewer employees, but at a (non monetary) cost to the public.

I am sure there are ways in which the fire service could be improved, and that the firefighters will work to bring them about. There have been a lot of changes in the past, and the people who have fought to get them, often against strong resistance from the employers, have been the fire fighters and their union.

What seems to have happened is that the government has decided that it needs to show muscle, by breaking a strong union, and imposing changes which will weaken its ability to organise. A special target is the shift system that encourages firefighters to bond as working teams - and this is a target in spite of the fact that this kind of team bonding is a vital element in enabling them to operate in dangerous situations.

There is good reason to believe that a significant offer, well short of the bargaining figure of 40%, but well above what is now on offer, was virtually agreed earlier this year, but was vetoed by the government. The aim of the government has been to ensure a strike, and break it, and use this as a way of imposing a raft of innovations designed to weaken the union, to give other troublemakers a warning, and to curry favour with the more rational Tories who know recognise New Labour as the most effective Tory government they could hope for.

In the words of Engine 33, InOBU's song about the lost firefighters of September 11:

So tell all your children to tell all their children
never go past a firehouse but you make a brief pause
And thank all the heroes who work on those engines
Each day they risk all in humanities cause.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,LesB
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 05:46 PM

I have just started looking at this thread, & I am amazed by what some people feel they can't live on. Yes, maybe the Firemen think they deserve more, but don't we all?

My wife & I work for ourselves, and get approx £16,000 pa before tax etc between us!(& no paid hols)

Now, we are only humble hairdressers but I have been doing it for over 30yrs. We can still afford to live & enjoy ourselves ( by being carefull).
So I don't have a lot of sympathy when individuals who earn nearly twice that which two of us earns, says that they don't have a living wage.

cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 06:04 PM

When we send our troops to fight the Iraquis -will we consider how much the average soldier earns? Will any of these be refusing to join the front line because they barely earn a decent wage? At the end of the day -yes the firemen should earn more, and soldiers and teachers and police and nurses and doctors - and we should pay for it- but Goverments don't create money they distribute the income from taxes and we have to pay for the increase. The truth is -we do not want to pay- never have and never will -higher taxes are the British paranoia and no party who has a mandate for increasing the tax budget to such a huge extent would ever get elected. So let's be honest have an opinion that the firemen are right to want more -and go back to the drawing board on how we are going to pay for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 07:18 PM

Yet we paid for the dome,wasted money on the railways and privatise other assets. How many lives did that save,what real service did it do for us except make some very rich.

Most people are griping because they want more themselves and are loathed to see others get more or just be that bit better off. Try fighting a fire with scissors and a water sprayer see how far you get.

To save our businesses or homes we call the fire fighters who do the job. Taking that into consideration why begrudge people a fair wage when they ultimately protect all our earning potential, should it be putting out fires at homes, warehouses, offices, airports or cutting people from wrecks. In the end they pay for themselves,as we all know the consequences if they were not there.

We buy into the idea that we get what we pay for,it has been recognised by the government, in offering a salary over £140,00 to attract the best in their latest job offer. What is so hard in applying that to the fire fighters.

The sad truth is people are being used, the politicians do not value anyone except themselves,thats why we see them raising their salaries but not others. We have only ourselves to blame,we let them get away with it. Having decently paid public sector workers is in all our interests, than say a £50,000 a year hair dresser,chef,carpenter or whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 07:34 PM

Guest LesB, how much were houses 30 years ago, if you have bought yours you are living rent free with a great deal of equity in your home. Try to buy a house now days on the wages these people are getting, especially when they live in housing boom areas and are first time buyers.

In N.Ireland £2000 would have bought a modest house 30 years ago, which is £120-150,000 now days, so many are sitting on a nest egg of thousands, good retirement fund there. Fire fighters have not had pays rises with inflation or any real pay rises for that matter, so its not fair comparing your earnings in that way, at least you have had the opportunity to get on the home owning ladder.

Where would we be if all the fire fighters just left and took the above advice and changed jobs? They are worth it and lots more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,Londons burning
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 07:56 PM

Look forget the leftwing worthy political rhetoric,and the self employed mini tycoons who whinge incessantly about not earning as much as blokes who potentialy risk their lives everytime they respond to a call...I agree firemen and everybody deserve a decent standard of living...the problem is not pay...its much more to do with the cynical engineering of property prices...my house in east London cost me £42.000 in 1997 it would now sell for somewhere around £150.000 that cannot be right,that cannot be justifiable when everybody deserves a decent home to live in....No other staple commodity of life is allowed to be priced so uncontrolably sky high to satisfy the greed of property speculators,estate agents and I suspect the ruling classes who are happy to see the family home market rise to ever more crazy high levels as it creates large profits in interest for mortgage lenders and also traps the ordinary working person into a form of servitude for most of their life while they work themselves into an early grave paying off such onerous debts..If the price of bread and milk can be controled,then I suggest the price of bricks and mortar needs to be as well...when we can all afford a humble and decent home to live in then all those esential workers out there will have no need of inflated pay claims...this said....the fire service is their to save lives...And must not be halted by anything so insignificant as a pay claim...All those who argue that people die in fires every day are realy talking out of their rear ends...Wait my friends until you and your family are trapped in a blazing house and your heroes the striking firefighters arent available to deal with the situation coz they are busy shouting about low pay....and look who turns up,its captain mainwaring in a 1950's tonka toy..as you and your family fry will you die protesting the right of firefighters to strike....of course their are always going to be unpreventable deaths by fire...but when the service charged with trying to prevent them shuts up shop over a thoroghly unrealistic pay claim then something has gone wrong with somebodies sense of priority...


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Gareth
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 08:24 PM

No names - No pack drill ! I have seen the Welsh Local Government Association figures for the cost in increase in Council Tax if the 40% increase was granted. We're are talking 16% increase on Uk Band D - The other thought is that if this is conceeded the follow on demands would blow a very large hole in any local authority budgets.

Now (technical point) given the multiplier between the percentage of income raised by a Welsh local authority by Council tax, business rates, and the rate support grant, to raise income over and above the Standard Spending level (freeze, or cut off point) will require the whole of the surpluss costs to come from the domestic council tax ie 16% on each and every household. Despite the ' Barnet Formuler !'(SP)
I suspect that a simmilar figure would apply to English County ot Unitary Authorities.

That being said let me go on record as saying that that full time Fire Fighters are underpaid, and the basic pay scales as outlined previously by Catter Rock Chick are correct. In objectivity it must also be noted that Rock Chick does not mentiom the very favourable pension and retiement benefits that the Fire Services contractually grants, and this includes counting previous Armed Forces Service towards pensionable benefit time served.

In London and the South East £21K PA will not finance the mortgage of a house. I am aware that there are Fire men living in Caerphilly (160 miles from London or 120 miles from Reading who commute in for thier 4 days on watch. A near neighbour is one, travelling up and down the M4.

The question is what is possible - Yes a good settlement, but some of the Spanish Practices insisted on by the FBU must go, as part of a negotaited settlement. And the FBU will not gain that negotiating position by thier present actions.

Gareth

If any Catter's wish to discuss the figure in detail please PM me


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: JudeL
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 08:30 PM

"The firemen can find other jobs" when people are driven away from a job that they believe in and that belief has nothing to do with money because they cannot afford to live on the wages paid, that is immorral. Expecting people to work in a profession which may be very stressful or dangerous, for less money because it is a vocation is immoral. Walking away from a job because you are not being valued deprives the country of a persons services every bit as much as going on strike does. The sense of priorities that is wrong is that of a government who veto a wage offer which would have avoided the strike because they want to look tough and throw their weight around so that they can implement cost cutting changes that will leave us all less safe


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 09:21 PM

40 per cent was a negotiating bid. If you just ask for the most you can hope to get you won't get it. They'll settle for less than that.

The bundle of "reforms" being slapped on the table include a mixture of things, some of which should be negotiable, and some of them things which if they were accepted by the firemen would mean we had a worse service. No doubt there's a bit of bargaining strategy on the other side as well, demands that can be dropped. Unless the government actually is determined to do a Thatcher-job on the union, and force a strike as part of it, relying on their knowledge that the firemen hate the idea of staying out on strike and seeing people die.

When I hear people talking about "the right to manage" that sets off alarm bells. I've heard it too often from managers who've got the title and the pay that goes with it, but haven't got the beginning of understanding of how to actually get the best out of the organisations they manage. Hell, I was a social worker for twenty years, we know about managers...

I'm not interested in "the right to manage", I'm interested in getting the best possible fire service, and happy to pay my share of what it takes to achieve that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 06:48 AM

And here is a quote from that allegedly independent Bain inquiry which came up woth those "modernising" and "reforming" proosals that the Government is trying to impose on the fireservice:

"Pay linked to reform will unlock the individual's potential ... new and exciting career paths, more suited to personal aspirations and circumstances ... enable the individual to take control ... coupled with a greater respect for personal and cultural differences ... as everyone develops their own careers and skills and embraces change, the higher performance which results will bring higher salaries."

Who can keep a straight face at that kind of managerial version of psycho-babble? Who could trust anyone who puts thta kind of stuff down on paper in this kind of context?

Spanish practices? Double dutch reforms proposals.

(That quote from the Bain report is is taken from a letter in today's Guardian)


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: rock chick
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 11:28 AM

Guest: 15th Nov: My husband had to retire some years ago because he got blown out of a factory trying to rescue another human being, he has since had two MAJOR back ops the last one only 6 weeks ago... he suffers a great deal of pain, but never once has he said he wished he hadn't gone into the building. He has also since helped to rescue another person from a house fire.... he went in because he had the knowledge and experience, the general public and army do not.

He couldn't drive a train because he couldn't sit that long, neither can he stand or lay for lengthy period, and all because of a job. THESE MEN DESERVE EVERY PENNY.


rc


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Cobble
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 12:00 PM

The fireman get twice as much pay as me, who's going to pay for this rise ME, so they can be on triple my wage. My money goes down so there's can go up. As far as danger goes, in the last five years how many of them have been killed in comparison to the men that catch the fish you all expect on your plate.

                   Cobble.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 12:01 PM

Will you set the ball running Guest Londons Burning, sell your house fo less than it is worth. Are you willing to lose £100,000 or so and sell your home to a fire fighter so under their present wages they can afford the mortage?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: rock chick
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 12:10 PM

You don 't have to eat fish, it's a choice,thats not an answer though, but you would want them there to put out the fire or rescue your family, or cut you or a member of your family /friend out of the mangled car would you not. What you pay in your rates for this service is only a pittance, like their wages.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 12:28 PM

No need to put up taxes for people with small incomes. There's plenty of room for putting up taxes on people who receive far more than they need, and blocking the tax fiddles which allow the richest people of all to get away with paying virtually no taxes.

And remember, any time you hear a government minister going on about how 40 per cent is far too much, that's less than they got - and that was 40 per cent plus of a much higher salary to start with.

In addition to which, 40 per cent was a negotiating demand for the firemen, not what they expected to get just like that.

And the reforming modernisers who came up with this package they are trying to railroad through are the same kind of people who have come up with these new byzantine and contradictory proposals for a new licensing system for pubs and for music. Can anyone trust the competence of these people, or their ability to apply their minds to real issues rather than merely juggling with jargon?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,Londons burning
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 06:49 PM

Ireland,

I and my family need a house to live in as much as anybody else....I would much rather houses be placed under a proper price control formula so that everybody can get into decent accomodation...I would suggest their sould certainly be no more than 20 percent profit permissable on a residential premises after the estimated cost of building such a premises..so my little 2 up 2 down shoebox would probably cost no more than £40.000 to buy...this would be a real move to social justice..of course individuals or organisations would not be able to buy up multiple premises....I wouls suggest nobody should own more than 2 houses...these measures would not only take the need for ever increasing salaries out of the system,but would by giving people a chance to own a home near to their place of employment would eliminate the daily and deadly stampede of workers all trying to jam into overcrowded public transport systems...here in London their would also be no justification for introducing the "congestion charge" which with all its cameras and beauracracy is a truly Orwelian nightmare happening before our eyes in London..and if not stopped coming to a major city near you (whichever country you may be in) very soon..
It realy wouldnt matter if my home was reduced to a much mmore modest value if all other residential homes were priced in the same way..short of me selling up and going to live in a tent..these artificialy inflated values are meaningless..


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Cobble
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:10 PM

Fish is not the point. The point is in ths country I am well under half the national average and as usual people like me have to foot the bill for these mindless greedy b******s. With a government who are just the same with there 40% increase and a prime minister who gave himself a £50.000 raise the minute he got back in.

               Cobble.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:17 PM

Maybe Mc G of H can shed some light on this, other countries provide cheap housing for their essential public sector workers, what can't we?

The word being essential public sector workers, we all need doctors, nurses, fire fighters,police to name a few. What is the sense of situations above were people are travelling 100's of miles to work because there are no affordable house's or a decent wage so these people can buy homes.

We blame the fire fighters for looking more money and who is at the root of the problem,greedy self serving short sighted politicians who created the problem in the first place. I think if the fire fighters were to resign en mass and leave it up to the government to sort it out some action would be taken.

Blair knew that the green goddess fire engines were not up to it, but did he have the troops train to use the standby modern appliances. He did not because I believe they were trying to show the fire fighters up by using the green goddesses as some sort of statement. Our anger should be directed to Blair and his peoples manipulative handling of the situation. They had months and now they are only going to train the troops for the modern appliances, typical last ditch efforts a trait exhibited by all our politicians.

All this grief for £2.20 an hour extra,which could well be used up providing for a decent pension, fire fighters pay something like 11% into their pensions as it is,look at the mess our government has led us into on that issue alone.

Atleast we can depend on the fire fighters to get us out of trouble if we need them, can the same be said for Blair?


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Gareth
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:22 PM

Interesting hypothosis, Rock Chick, that the fisherfolk are "expendable" because no one has to eat fish.

Very similar to the thoughts of Thatcher.

To put this into perspective musically, I repectfully submit that you click
Here,
Here &,
Here

As I said previously - yes the firemen are underpaid. This present campaign is not the way to achieve a fair settlement, and I am afraid it only provides ammunition for those anti workig class papers, the Sun and the Mail to continue bashing the unions and the progresive movement.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:30 PM

Cobble people like you have to foot the bill, I'm like you but I realise some things are worth paying for, fire fighters,doctors and nurses are, the common factor being these people save lives.

We won't perish from not eating fish but we may do in a house fire,car crash what ever,when the fire fighters cuts us out of the car wreck so the doctors and nurses can treat us, something no other professions can do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:32 PM

Blair and his cronies had their brilliant idea that they could essentialy abolish politics by tailoring everything to suit voters in focus groups. They unfortunately forgot there are other forces in the country that you cant deal with by fixing the electoral process. Thank god the firemen are now reminding him of the basic flaw in his scheme.You can take a horse to water but you cant make him drink.
    And I do think McGrath has put his finger on a crucial point we should always remember.People who write that kind of touchy-feely drivel cant be trusted to run a pissup in a brewery. Remember the dome:never forget it. In a country full of clever people at that sort of thing, how come it was put in the hands of nitwits? The dome makes an excellent model for the rest of the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:38 PM

So what is the way to get public services properly funded and the people working in them paid properly? Vote for it? But we've done that, twice in a row.

There was a time a lot of people really believed that electing a Labour Government would achieve that. And then they perhaps believed that, if somehow there could be a Labour Government that wasn't having to look over it's shoulder all the time because there was a strong opposition barking at its heels, it would stop being frightened to abandon the clothes itbhad stolen from the Tories.

All that seems like a sick joke now. The brand name is still there (a bjut modified), but the proiducr has changed. We've got a fairly decent Tory Government, a bit further to the right than say Macmillan was, and there seems every prospect of it sticking round a long time. But when it comes to dealing with the unions, it seems it's decided to show that it can even out-Thatcher Thatcher.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,Londons burning
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:57 PM

Arent we confusing political rhetoric with reality....I'd still much rather have Tony Blair than any tory....If you look at it from his perspective and indeed anybodies balanced perspective Blair cannotr possibly concede to anything like this pay claim..doing so wont resolve anything...it will just open the flood gates for every public service to put in a massive claim...I agree the usualy canny Mr Blair hasnt dealt with this situation at all cleverly...The first clever thing he could is sack John Prescot he's nothing more than an embarassing tactless inarticulate buffoon..then to try and find some middle ground without stepping up payclaims all over he could offer the firefighters enhancements in the form of assistance with their mortgages and free travel for their families on public transport..of course in an ideal world (alas we do not live in an ideal world) he could get to grips with controling the pricing and ownership of residential property as I suggested in my ealier thread...Yes its radical..yes its socialist,but isnt that what he's meant to be politicaly....
Eventualy somebody will see sense....but none of these considerations justify the fire fighters refusing to carry out their duty..people must'nt burn while Tony Blair and the fire brigade union fiddle..


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 08:14 PM

I prefer Tony Blair to the kind so Tories who are on offer. But I don't think there'd be much to choose between him and Tories such as the one time Macleod, or say Chris Patton. As I said, a decent Tory government, still dealing with the appalling legacy of a series of appalling Tory governments.

Yes, the kind of things which London's Burning mentions could help, and if there'd been a government ready to think along this lines it wouldn't have got to this stage.

The alternative to striking when you are driven to they limit is to quit the job. But that's just another way of withdrawing your labour, and one that potentially does far more damage to the fire service - and how would that help? Striking, while standing ready to abandon the strike when lives are at risk, is a more sensible compromise, and that's what they did this week.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 08:15 PM

We have no one to blame but ourselves, people bought into the Thatcher greed without thought or foresight,how many bought their council houses at 7-8% interest rate only to get clobbered by the hike up to ~ 15%. I remember seeing a programme were Thatcher was presenting the keys to one of the first people to buy their council house. Something like five years later and the house was reprocessed, where was Thatcher nowhere to be seen.

We have been subjected to market forces and who is it that comes out on top, those that have the big bucks. In the late 80's people were losing their homes and the rich were buying them up by the barrel load. As people got lost in the neg equity trap and had no choice but to pay the high mortgage or loose their home the government had them by the short and curlies. To lower inflation raise interest rates so there is less money to buy luxuries and we get the government going on about low inflation aren't we good.

This manipulation is part of the strife fire fighters have, we have lost public housing to the private sector,who are making a mint at all our expense. Low housing stock leaves little options but to look to the private sector to build new homes at inflated prices.

We cannot call the public sector workers mindless b-----ds, for wanting a solution to a problem our short sighted manipulating politicians have left us in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,Londons burning
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 05:12 AM

I would rather have a labour government than any tory administration...they by their very nature are just money grabbing greedy so and so's The one redeeming feature of labour is that they are largely funded by the unions....Alas politics is such a dirty business,but I cannot help but think that Tony Blair is fundamentaly a decent person,I think he has made rather too many decisions designed to satisfy the politicaly correct brigade and his government has been weakened by appointing the wrong people to key posts in his cabinet...such as a man who relies upon brail to make the countries law(it would be laughable if it wasnt true) how can a man who relies upon a dog to guide him down the street be able to fully understand and see the anarchic forces of drug culture,gun law,unfettered immigration not to mention how to keep a hand on possibly the worlds most devious secret service (MI5/MI6)and rampant threats of terrorism on the British mainland.. on top of that he is just about as charmless a politician as one could find..then theirs Mr Prescot apparently given the task of sorting out this most vital of industrial disputes who based upon his success rate so far as a cabinet minister is only kept in his post to apparently appease the union block vote into believing that our Oxford educated Tony can tolerate a few rough and ready working class types in his government...let him go Mr Blair our Johnny is a liability i'm afraid...then theirs women ministers such as Ms Estelle Morris who patently couldnt hack the job they were appointed to..I doubt she was much good as a teacher either..I had one or two dowdy teachers like her in my schooling days,and they were a dead loss....and lets please not mention Mr Stephen Byers who has become synonomous with "Liar"...I myself will probably vote Liberal Democrat at the next election...although I cant stand their leader "Peter perfect" Mr charles Kennedy,but they despite their middleclass core seem to be putting forward most of the rational policies these days it would be lovely to see them given a chance,but whatever happens to get our society back on an even keel we need the price of residential accomodation controled...if your local greengrocer suddenly started charging five pounds per spud and called it market forces he'd be lynched why is it we allow unfettered greed to control the price of the very roofs over our head....if this single issue was properly addressed then many other seemingly unending blights upon the quality of the ordinary persons life would dissipate


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 07:22 AM

Surely in this dispute there will always be two sides as in any dispute.But as usual the themes often go; because I haven't got it-so they shouldn't have it or I've got it- but I don't want anyone else to have it! The problem is the unwillingness of government to redress the balance of how local government employees get paid, or rather how our taxpayers money is used.

We can always find massive (billions) amounts of money for the military (despite huge cutbacks) There may be a shortage of personel, but I suspect little shortage of armaments such as missiles, planes and bombs. I can't see us halfway through bombing Iraq into submission saying-"hang on, we've only got a couple of bombs left!!" Can you?

Consider how much money has been spent recently on; The Scottish assmbly, the Welsh asembly, the dome, the number of state functions, trips abroad for mp's, ministers, banquets,privatisation etc etc. How much has been lost by selling of council homes which end up in housing association hands. When gas, electricity, telecoms, railways, water were privatised the "little man" got to buy a few shares if he wanted to, ask yourself, who bought 1000's of shares and still controls these essentials? (Most of these things keep our political leaders in more than a lavish lifestyle!). It is our money-we all pay taxes.It is massively misused and wasted.

Would you rather see an effective health service with more staff and facilities to help us through sickness without too few ground staff. Doctors working 50 or more hours a week, nurses burnt out and quitting, effective teaching without teachers being burnt out by working 50 hours a week( Don't anyone start the long holidays crap-we don't get paid for holidays!)A fire service, an ambulance service, an effective police service. Good roads,safe streets, a sound local infrastructure with good local facilities. An effective public transport service.

We have banks, supermarkets, building societies, petrochemical industries, communications firms, energy suppliers etc etc making really huge profits. (Yes they pay tax and are employers as well)But much of this goes to a few over rich individuals.

It is unfair to call the working man a greedy bastard because they want a decent living wage.Everytime the little workers get a pay rise in private industry, the cost is passed on to us - the taxpayer/consumer. If you get a low wage, ask yourself, how much are my directors/bosses/shareholders getting? Will you refuse a wage rise because it will put up the price of bread, milk, shoes,newsapapers,hair cuts,CD's etc etc? I bet you bloody well wont.If you work for any private firm every wage rise you get is passed onto the consumer, so don't be "greedy bastards"!!!! But you'll moan on about local government employees getting a wage rise wont you? You'll sit and gripe about your taxes going up to pay for local government workers wont you? But you'll accept your private company pay rise with glee without thinking "my pay rise has just meant some other low paid person has to pay more for goods and services", wont you?

Lunchtime supervisors, dinner ladies, teaching assistants, cleaners, essential workers in all walks of life get just above the minimum wage. Firemen earn not much more.They can only be paid by the money that is raised from taxes!

Why to so many workers get such low wages? Because the balance of power in this country has always been in the hands of the rich and powerful!

Now that is fine if you think that being a director of a communications giant, and getting a bonus of X millions of pounds even when you make a balls up of the job is good, OK carry on (But no one pickets their head offices). Being an owner of a supermarket group and having a personal salary of X millions of pounds a year is good, that's OK too(But no on pickets the supermarkets).We still keep paying! We all moan a litle (well I moan a lot) when MP's who get a really good pension, excellent salary, fringe benifits, loads of perks etc get a huge wage rise. No one stops to tell them "you chose do do this job because you care about society"-you should do it for less!!!!! Because I personally think that there have been very few MP's etc deserving of the huge wages they get in return for the little they do for us in the last 40 years.Only a few politicians stand out as being socially and morally exempt from self centredness and huge personal gain.

When: your house is burgled,car stolen, you are ill,need an operation, your children go to school,your road needs repairing, your drains unblocking, you want a book from the library,and have to call on any of the services paid for by taxes be thankfull you are not paying the privatised rate for the job.

If you are lying sick and injured in the road or crashed in your car ask yourself, have I got the money to pay for the paramedics to help me?

If you are a rape, mugging or other crime victim or your relative has been murdered, ask your self can I afford to pay the money needed to catch the criminal?

If your house/car is burning before you call the fire brigade, ask yourself if I have to pay them to save it, me, etc Have I got the money to do so if they were going to make me pay the rate for the job!!!!

If you can afford to pay for these privately, then do so. You are so much luckier than the rest of us, but even if you could pay, I bet you wouldn't want to!!

But for the rest of us be thankful for relatively cheap facilities in our lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: rock chick
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 07:48 AM

Eric the Viking, You have just said it all. I agree with you completly and utterly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: JudeL
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 01:04 PM

Well said Eric.

The only thing I would add is the way in which those who control the media manipulate society to enable those who have power and money to maintain that powerbase by controlling what is reported and the way it is reported. Even in our TV programs the behaviour that is seen as normal and acceptable influences what society thinks and does. It may not be as blatent as some of the spin doctor stuff but it's there and far more powerful for being insidious and unrecognised.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 01:55 PM

There was a story recently that got to the heart of it. It was about a project being planned by the BBC to produce teaching materials. I think the amount of money involved was about £120 million pounds.

But there was tremendous opposition from the private industry which produces the same kind of thing. This was unfair competition, they objected. It would cost them sales of something like £400 million pounds, because the BBC materials would be available free of charge.

In other words, the schools, strapped for money to start with, were expected to pay out all that money - our money; several times the cost of producing equivalent materials through a public non-profit organisation.

In a similar way we are constantly told that paying for quality services, and higher pensions and so forth through taxation would mean ruinously high taxes - so we should pay for them through private firms - and the amount extra we have to pay in fact turns out to be far higher than the extra tax it replaces.

Or the TV licence we al have to pay is an imposition - and yet if it wasn't there we'd have to pay several times as much to get it from private suppliers.

We are being conned all the time. And since the media and the politicians of all shades collude in backing up the con most of us believe it, and rob us blind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Ireland
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 02:25 PM

We have people complaining that the plight of other public sector workers are not being addressed,with the fire fighters actions it makes people look at the root cause of why theses people are poorly paid.

This in turn highlights the governments inadequacies and their treatment of all public sector workers, so a teacher or nurse criticising the strike or saying what about us is be extremely short sighted. If the fire fighters get people thinking about how they are paid it will surely lead on to the rest of the public sector.In your own interest all public sector workers should be supporting the fire fighters.

Isn't it typical that we have politicians who lecture to us and do not see their own failings, like Mc G of H has pointed out we do pay more keeping a private sector afloat then we do for public sectors. But then Blair would not want people to figure that out, amazing example £120 mill as opposed to £400 mill makes you wonder which (ex)politician is being paid as board directors. Anyone know a poor politician?

We are watching the advantages our forefathers fought for being eroded, in as little as 50 years and whats worse the political party that helped bring about the NHS ect are killing it by using the same principles that their political opponents use. Rather than whinge about the fire fighters strike use it as a wake up call before we all end up paying for it and ask Blair what the heck he is playing at,out torying the tories.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 07:56 AM

Bagpuss,

many thanks, exactly the figure I needed. And your remarks about the distribution and about the impossibility to draw conclusions from the data from one single night also falls on open ears.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,Londons burning
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 03:37 AM

Alas Eric the viking,

Much of what you say is based upon a utopian vision of the world....I simply say make owning a home affordable by controlling property pricing this single    (and surely achievable) act would go some way towards putting a break on the need for larger and larger pay demands that become immediatley devalued by the cost of financing the very roof over our heads...I do think much of the problems within teaching and the health service not to mention public transport have occured through the virtualy unfettered immigration to the UK that has occured over the last 40 years...we simply have to many people for the system to cope...

The issue of the balance of wealth in this country is an eternal one...Yes it would be lovely to see a fairer society..the problem is that you'll be lucky if you can find 3 people who all agree how it can be achieved...human beings are greedy and selfish creatures by nature...and eastern europe must surely be a lesson to us all of how attempts to implement such ideals soon become monstrous dicatorships that are anything but fair distributors of national wealth..


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 02:03 PM

Well I cannot say i do not basically agree with you on these points. In the 3.000.000 million years of human evoloution, we have not moved very far up the scale towards enlightened apes. Neither any religious experiences or socialogical changes have made the majority of us much different from those humans of the stone age. We have more to covet and probably less to achieve. In that our achievements are mostly (sadly) for the benefit of ourselves than each other.

I don't see imigration as much as a problem if society makes the best use of the migrants. But when we (The government/local councils) and the migrants ghetto ourselves by distribution, culture and apparent worth then there is little hope for the future.Most of the immagration of the first 20-30 years was to ensure a supply of cheap labour, and therefore kep wages down and profits up, which is why the areas with the highest percentage of immagrants were the industrialised areas and those needing staff for infrastructural employment.

Affordable housing, by whom and for whom? Those with multi 1000's of pounds would simply not wish to live amongst the poor and needy, and the poor and needy would still need the support that is lacking.If we can (can we?) legislate for affordable housing, then we can legislate for other things that head us toward an improved lot for the working classes.

When considering the eastern block and communism, remember that much was against the will of the ordinary person, who still, as we do now, had little say in the running of the affairs.I agree the whole effort was not only disasterous, but cruel and inhuman. Those states showed the worst sides to human nature in the name of "equality", fear and control. I would not wish to see them return. It is a question of education (not brainwashing) on a grand scale, and though utopian it might be, it must be an ideal worth striving for and not dismissing, or we might as well all give up now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 02:34 PM

human beings are greedy and selfish creatures by nature

It's equally true to say that we are generous and unselfish creatures.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 03:40 AM

refrsh, they are on stike again, this time for 8 continous days, as I write this The Right Honourable MP for Hull, Mr John Prescott is talking shit on BBC Radio 4.
It seems strange to me that this country cannot pay it's firefighters a decent wage, yet it can afford to spend a billion pounds on a minellium dome that was demolished after one year, and other stupid bullshit schemes! And before anyone says the dome was paid for with lottery money, well why not let the people that play the lottery decide where the money goes, how about a box to tick on the back of the ticket= "Would you like lottery money to be spent on silly bullshit schemes/and or end up in the pockets of grossly overpaid scheme directors? 9Tick here) or would you like it to go on useful public services/ cancer charities etc? 9tick here)"

I have come to the conclusion that almost all politicians are lying cheating bastards, I think the only decent trustworthy ones are Jack Ashley and Tony Benn.
9Just my opinion)!

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST,The Independent
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 02:42 PM

The firefighters' leaders laid about themselves last night, accusing unnamed people of "trying to engineer" an eight-day strike. This is part of a pattern of trying to avoid their own responsibility for their disastrous handling of this dispute.

John McGhee, one of the union's national officers, gave the game away. "All we have been offered so far is an increase of 4 per cent, not a penny more, with any more money having to come through modernisation." In other words, the firefighters have been offered more than the 4 per cent in the first year, but the extra is conditional on changes in working practices.

The weakness of the union's position is laid bare. This is not a dispute about money, it is about the refusal of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) to accept reform. That has been the nub issue all along. Most of the point-scoring since last week's two-day strike is irrelevant. It does not matter how much George Bain, the chairman of the review of firefighters' pay and conditions, earns as vice-chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast. Nor does it matter who is responsible for the poor representation of women and ethnic minorities in the fire service, the FBU or the employers, both of whom are formally committed to equal opportunities.

The question now is whether or not the FBU will accept more flexible shift patterns in return for higher pay. Its initial demand for a 40 per cent rise to a basic salary of £30,000 was clearly unacceptable – and Andy Gilchrist, the FBU leader, has made it clear the union will take less. But on changing work practices, the union is immovable. That cannot be a principle for which it is worth risking a single life.

If the employers really were offering 16 per cent over two-and-a-half years, without significant changes in the way that the fire brigades work, that would be too much.

Firefighters are brave people who risk their lives to protect us. They deserve a decent wage. But they are already well paid, with a shift system that allows them to take second jobs. The public are prepared to pay firefighters more, but only FBU members believe that it is impossible to organise the fire service more efficiently. The Government must hold firm.

The Independent


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 04:20 PM

I take it that was all a quote from "The Independent"? ("The Indescribably Boring" as a Private Eye calls it.

You note again that use of the word "reform", to imply that the innovations demanded are all desirable in themselves. An old trick and a shabby one.

I am sure there are changes which would be improvements in the way the fire service is organised. However my instincts are to trust the firefighters' judgement on what is needed rather than the accountants and the bureaucrats.

Paying firefighters a decent wage should be seen as the first necessary change, on which everyone should be agreed. And with that on board, talk about what other innovations are needed which would help them do a better job - and I am certain that the firefighters have a few of those to present.

It is of course possible that there are innovations which are desirable which firemen would prefer not to see, but that needs to be argued out properly, and not in the present atmosphere of conflict.

Here is a link to the Fire Brigades Union website. And here is what the union has to say about "modernisation" - making the same point as I have in this post:

The government scuppered the suspension of the strike – the FBU and our Employers had found a way forward. This is treating firefighters and emergency fire control operators with contempt.

We had a draft agreement drawn up. We were on the point of suspending action. The Government torpedoed this. It Is THEIR responsibility that the strike has gone ahead.

The Governments "modernisation" means cuts - fewer people on duty at night when casualties from fire increase - see Fire Statistics UK 2000 - on ODPM website, page 37!

"There were more casualties per dwelling fire in the early hours of the morning. The highest casualty rate was between 2am and 3am."

The FBU's modernisation means putting public safety first - WE drafted a fire safety Bill TWO years ago for this government who has FAILED to put it on the statute book.

Our modernization also means providing fire kit which FIT S women firefighters so that they are properly protected as ALL firefighters should be in the dangerous situations in which they work.

Our modernization means getting to victims speedily and assisting them speedily. FBU members already administer first aid at incidents – what we should not do is substitute for trained professional medical staff. This position is supported by the British Paramedics Association and ambulance workers through their trade union, UNISON. Both of these organizations have written to Sir George Bain on this matter.

Our modernisation of the Service means that £1 billion pounds invested in the Service saves £1 billion in property, lost days at work and NHS care and 68 lives!
(Source – Fire Cover Review – Task Group of the CFBAC)


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 05:08 PM

Just a question to the statisticians amongst us. How many pay rises have Mp's paid themselves since Thatcher got into power? What percentage increase does that represent on salary since that date? By what percentage have public sector workers wages(an average will do) risen in the same period of time?

When you answer,comparative salaries would be better. Please remember that 20% of £100 is £20.00, but 20% of £1000 is £200. The truth is that percentage pay rises and unfair, since 100% of very little is still only very litle, 5% of a lot, is a lot!

They deserve a proper, decent pay rise-modernisation/reform is another set of terms for cutting jobs, increasing hours. We surely are returning to the old Britain with our emplyment legislation, working conditions and practices rather than moving forward.

If we do, who can blame workers for returning to the days of strikes?

What else is there left when negotiation fails?

The hypocrasy of government is unbelievable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 06:31 PM

Yes McGrath, it was a copy and paste from The Independent. I thought that was fairly obvious. Perhaps not.

I happen to agree with it, and repeating cheap shots from 'Private Eye' doesn't really get us anywhere.

You seem so entrenched in your views, that further discussion seems worthless.

So I won't bother.

Just one question: if we give the firemen/women what they want, do we give everyone else what they want? How do we pay for it? Some figures would be good.

And please nothing about MPs pay etc. The maths doesn't work


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 06:59 PM

"Deal would add 21p a week to council tax" - that's a link to a story in today's Guardian (rather than posting the whole story here.

The deal concerned is the 16% which the Fire Brigade Union have indicated they would accept, and which the employers (local government) appear to be willing to go along with, and which would have stopped the strike, and cleared the way for constructive talks about ways of improving the Fire Service; but the Government has scuppered it.

That's not 21p on the rate of council tax - it's 21 pennies. Threepence a day. I don't think there are that many people who'd begrudge that.

The story also includes a mention of some of the modernisation proposals the firefighters would like to see introduced - such as creches, to help women with babies work in the service, and separate showers for female crew members.

The cost of the strike is likely to be far far higher than the cost of the 16% deal. And that is just in terms of money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:10 PM

The cost of the strike is likely to be far far higher than the cost of the 16% deal

Of course it is, the 16% deal has been offered, so why don't they agree to what is already on the table?

I thought that you didnt reply to guests?

(It's that sort of bloody mindedness that helps to cause this sort of problem)


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:27 PM

Three pence a day, now, is it such a lot to ask?
Perhaps if Tony Blair would care to undertake the task
His conscience it might wake agin, his heart it might give way,
And he'd agree to raise the Rates by three pence a day.


(And I know they call it "Council Tax" these days, but it's still the Rates to me.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:43 PM

And here is a link to another report just above that one in the Guardian.

And here's a quote from the report, from a Liverpool Fireman on the picket line:

"We are not going to be bought off, with the service cut to such an extent that it becomes dangerous for the public and for us," added Mr Dooley.

"We could not accept that, as a result of taking a pay rise, we would have fewer firefighters on duty at night. Fewer firefighters would mean fewer fire engines and that would mean that stations would close. They quote statistics that there are fewer calls at night. But there are more deaths.

"We won't take 16% with some of these ridiculous cuts that will make our job more difficult because there will be fewer of us on duty. More people will be likely to die. We won't say 'Sod them - we'll take the money'."


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:49 PM

I still await your sums, McGrath

Saying 'they should have more' is easy. Deciding who has less as a result is harder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fireman's Strike UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:53 PM

21 pennies a week per household.


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 19 May 5:13 PM EDT

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