Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Komakino, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. Britain's firefighters go on strike next week unless they can settle a pay dispute with the government. The government is offering a 4% payrise; the unions want 40%. At present a fully trained firefighter earns £21,500 PA which is less than a policeman and many teachers and of course for this they risk their lives of a daily basis.

    This leads me on to...if they strike (though it looks more like 'when they strike') the 3000 state of the art, red fire engines will be replaced by:


    nearly 900 Green Goddesses!! Built circa 1955 these lovely machines carry no cutting equipment, no breathing apparatus, and only one ladder with a 35 foot reach. They have only a low pressure pump supplying four hoses and (get this) NO RADIO! They have to have a police escort when on call and many older ones have a top speed of only 35mph although some can reach 50mph.

    They're manned by the Army with some Navy and RAF support.

    Still, there's something almost romantic about them being back on the streets.
  2. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    Does Britain have volunteer firefighters? People who have other jobs, but go racing off to the station when the siren sounds? All the towns near me have these people. I don't know if they get paid or not, I'm guessing not.
  3. Yes, there are some volunteer and part-time firefighters not involved in the dispute who will still work...the problem is that the fire stations will be picketed and, possibly, bolted shut to prevent the engines being used.
  4. There's some suggestion of the army being told to cross the picket lines and commandeer the red fire engines with all their state-of-the-art equipment, although the government seems to be divided over whether or not it would be right to do this.

    Personally, I don't think the Fire Brigades Union have any right to withhold engines paid for by the taxpayer, especially with lives at stake, so I don't see the problem.
  5. I have always wanted to be a Fireman....But Im I would like to be a volunteer Fireman but they don't have that program here........:(
    Jennifer, are you really a Goat Farmer? I love goats milk,, yum yum...oh and goats cheese rules!!!!!!!!

    yottskry,,,I hope they get that settled before something bad happens..

  6. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    Fetch, yeah I am. Goat cheese is good! But I raise mine for meat. Milking is too much work for me.
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I agree that they shouldnt be allowed to withhold the equipment, but they should be paid more before they continue providiing their services.

    There in no price to high to pay for the protection of the people.

  8. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    :mad: Some people make me so mad....
    Last night in Rickmansworth (where my school is) there were 330 calls to the fire station and only 20 of them were genuine. Also, this morning at Uxbridge college and Amersham Comprehensive some fool set off the fire alarm :mad:
    As well as it being completely insensitive considering the strike, false alarms from places like schools cost the schools around £1000 a time.
  9. Not at all. In fact, accordiong to this morning's news, 2 incidents led to firefighters crossing their own picket lines to lend a hand to the army.
  10. TheInsider


    Oct 8, 2002
    Middle USA
    The firemans pay is not bad.

    Thats about $32,390 in US currency which is $7000 above the median income of this country. The median income of GBP is closer to $20,000 US or $12,000 pounds. So they are making $8000 more than an average person in that country.

    They also get free ( albeit slow and poor ) health care and great benefits. I don't think thats a bad job and besides most firefighters don't do it for the money.

    I don't think the UK gov't is in a position to offer higher pay anyway.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's right - it would be suicidal for the government to give in to one group of public sector workers, as then all the others - Doctors, Nurses, Ambulance Drivers, Paramedics etc etc - would be along with similar claims - basically bankrupting the country!!

    The government has actually offered 11% next year, which is way above what anybody else is getting - so I've no sympathy for the strike.