Region 3 Fire Brigades Union

...Together We Stand!

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Welcome to Region 3.

YouGov Survey - FBU Members Conditions of Service

E-mail Print PDF


What is the purpose of this survey?

The Government has launched a review of firefighters’ conditions of service, headed by a Human Resources consultant, Adrian Thomas. This is connected to the Knight Review and the current attacks on firefighters’ pensions.

The FBU is totally committed to maintaining high-quality and professional conditions of service for all its members and has been firm in its opposition to many of the suggestions made by Government and the Employers.

If the FBU is to be successful in any campaign against this new wave of attacks on conditions of service you have got a big part to play.

In order to get a clear understanding of the strength of feeling of the membership on all the key Government proposals, we have commissioned the independent polling organisation YouGov to survey members about these changes.

This survey will allow you to express your views on what your conditions of service mean to you and how you may react to the proposed changes. It is simple to access the online survey and it will only take a few minutes of your time to complete.

How do I take part?

It’s easy!

You can go onto the FBU website:

Or go directly to the YouGov website:  

It takes a couple of minutes, the questions are straightforward. Some questions are designed around your particular duty system.

It is very important that you take part and that you give your considered responses to the survey.

Why use YouGov?

YouGov is a respected independent polling organisation and the information we obtain from this survey can be used to highlight our members’ attitudes without giving anyone the opportunity to say it is biased or distorted.

Please only fill in the survey once and do not use the same computer as other colleagues as the survey is designed to highlight repeat responses from one source (i.e. try to avoid using any work computers).

The survey will be live until Monday 15th December 2014 and you will get several reminders to take part. All FBU officials will be encouraged to maximise membership participation in this survey.

Why should I bother?

Your views are extremely important to us and if we are to conduct a successful campaign against these attacks we need to understand the strength of feeling of all members on a range of issues and use any information we gather to formulate a strategy.

There may be a particular proposal that you are strongly opposed to. If this is so we need to know.

What happens with the information?

Part of the work YouGov are undertaking is to gather the information and produce a report on FBU members’ attitudes towards the proposals for future conditions of service changes. This report will be an extremely valuable tool that we can use to defend members’ conditions of service.

This is only one step in any campaign but it is a vital step and one that you need to take part in – please take part and make your views heard.

Please take a few minutes of your time to complete this survey – this is a chance to highlight your feelings towards the Government’s future plans for your conditions of service.

Best wishes.

Yours fraternally


General Secretary

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 11:54

Tyne & Wear Fire Authority - Emergency Motion

E-mail Print PDF

Emergency Motion passed by Tyne & Wear Fire Authority

At the meeting of the Tyne & Wear Fire Authority held today, Monday 17th November 2014 at the Service Headquarters, an emergency motion was proposed by Councillor Dave Stockdale from Newcastle and seconded by Councillor Bob Price from Sunderland on the issue of Fire Service Pensions.

Councillor Stockdale stated that the motion was morally right as he believes the Westminster Government's attack on the pensions of Firefighters is extremely unacceptable . Councillor Gary Hayley, councillor from Gateshead stated that it was incorrect for the Westminster Government to call Firefighters pensions generous. The Lib Dems were thunderous in their silence. The two Tories were worried that if the pensions order was annulled what would replace it, the reply was more negotiating and follow the devolved administrations lead! 

The vote was 9 in support of the motion with 3 abstentions, those of the two conservatives and 1 lib Dem who were in attendance.

The emergency motion is below;




Emergency Motion – Firefighters Strike

TWFRA notes:

The Coalition Government’s plans to increase firefighter pension contributions and raise the retirement age of all firefighters  to 60;

The recent breakdown in talks between the Government and unions on this issue;

The subsequent national 4 day fire strike that took place between 31st October and 3rd November 2014;

That strike action on this issue has been avoided in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

 The Authority believes:

That firefighters across Tyne and Wear do a brave and heroic job putting at risk their own lives to protect our residents;

That firefighters should be rewarded for this service to the public with a fair pension settlement upon retirement;

That the current Coalition Government plan to force all firefighters to remain in active service to the age of 60 will put at risk the mental wellbeing of firefighters and potentially jeopardises the safety of the public;

That, if the devolved Governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have negotiated a fairer deal, then the Coalition Government can achieve the same for England.

The Authority therefore resolves:

To write to the Fire Minister urging her to enter into urgent negotiations with the Fire Brigades Union in England with a new offer over pension contributions;

To write to Members’ of Parliament representing constituencies within the Tyne and Wear area and urge them to support Early Day Motion 454 (tabled by the Labour Party’s Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) which calls on the annulment of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Government’s Firefighters' Pension Scheme (England) Regulations 2014;

Proposed:    Councillor David Stockdale

Seconded:   Councillor Bob Price


Report of FBU Officials Meeting - 2014HOC0640MW

E-mail Print PDF

Circular:  2014HOC0640MW




Dear Brother/Sister


Pensions: report of FBU officials' meeting; legal action; Early Day Motion (prayer); Buckinghamshire


On 7 November Officials from all Brigades, Regions and Sections met in Liverpool for an update on the pension campaign and to give feedback. These discussions will be reported back in further detail through Brigade Committee structures to FBU Branches.


The report-back covered all aspects of the Union's work on pensions. The FBU has set out very clearly throughout that there are three essential strands to our campaign; political lobbying and campaigning; legal challenges where possible; and industrial action where necessary. Each of these has an essential role to play and we have explained throughout that it would be a mistake to ignore any of these strands.


Recent Strike Action


Local FBU Officials took the opportunity to report on how the strikes had been supported across English Brigades and to give their views on how different types of action had been received by members. This included a range of views on future action. This type of feedback is essential as the Executive Council is regularly monitoring and assessing the situation and any developments as you would expect.


The Executive Council is considering the next steps in our industrial campaign and the views of local Brigade Committees are an important aspect of any decision making. FBU members will appreciate that there are always a range of views on the question of industrial action and the Executive Council needs to take account of such a range of views as well as seeking to take forward our campaign.


Legal Challenges


A full explanation was given on a legal challenge that the FBU had just submitted in England. Please note that this is simply one of a series of challenges which are being discussed and finalised with our lawyers. This legal challenge focuses on the actuarial reduction that the Westminster Government is suggesting should be applied at age 55. The current DCLG proposal suggests that it should be around 21.8% while the FBU believe it could be much lower if an alternative method was used. The FBU challenge is based on the argument that the current method of working out the reduction at age 55 adopted by DCLG is incorrect.  Officials were given an explanation of how using the method the union is proposing instead of the current one could make a significant difference to the pension benefits of a large number of members, particularly around the age at which benefits could be taken. A more detailed explanation of this is being prepared and will be issued shortly.


It is important to note that it was impossible to progress this legal challenges until we had confirmation that Government had made a decision on these issues. The Government response beforehand (i.e. before the laying of the regulations) was that any legal challenge was premature as no final decision had been taken. By laying the regulations in Parliament, DCLG have given this confirmation andtherefore the next legal steps can be taken on this and other issues.


Political Challenges


Political lobbying and campaigning have been essential throughout the past three years. However, they are particularly important and particularly urgent now. When the regulations were laid in Parliament we began a process of members lobbying MPs to ‘Pray’ against the legislation. This is a rarely used process which seeks to get enough opposition to challenge the Government by various means. This lobbying campaign calls for MPs to sign Early Day Motion (EDM) 454 opposing the legislation. Initially this EDM was tabled by members of the FBU Parliamentary Group but following further lobbying was then supported and sponsored by Hilary Benn MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government). Other frontbench opposition MPs including Lyn Brown (Shadow Fire Minister) have signed the EDM. On Tuesday 11 November the leader of the opposition Ed Miliband signed and became main sponsor of the EDM. To-date the EDM has been supported by 159 MPs, making it the best supported EDM in this session. This is a significant show of opposition against the regulations. The full list of signatories can be seen following this link:


This list is updated regularly. If your MP has not signed please make sure they are contacted. A simple lobbying letter can be accessed on the FBU website


Developments Elsewhere


The Scottish Government has now formally proposed an improvement we have been discussing with them for months. They have confirmed that they will use the method suggested by the FBU for calculating actuarial reductions at age 55 instead of the ones proposed by DCLG. This means that instead of a reduction of 21.8% they are proposing one of 9%. This does worsen the accrual rate to 1/61.6 but the benefits at age 55 for 2015 scheme members are significant. The FBU advisors are currently working on examples to show what this could mean in real terms to scheme members.


The Welsh Government has also confirmed that it will be consulting on options that also include reductions at age 55 which use our suggested method instead of DCLGs. Similar to Scotland these reductions will be 9% instead of 21.8% although the accrual rate in their option is slightly better at 1/61.5. Examples are also being prepared to show what this means in real terms. The Welsh Government have confirmed that they have no preferred option and will respond to the consultation responses received. The FBU will be preparing a response outlining why our suggested methodology should be adopted. As with all public consultation exercises, Firefighters and other members of the public in Wales will be invited to respond. We will be distributing further advice to enable members to understand the differences between the proposals and the potential improvements for FBU members.


Situation in Buckinghamshire


An extremely serious situation has arisen in Buckinghamshire where an FBU member (Bro. Ricky Matthews, who is also FBU Executive Council member for Region 12) has been dismissed for following our lawful call for strike action in the four day strike. This follows claims from the employer that the call for strike action had been made unlawfully. The union took expert legal advice on this issue and we are absolutely confident that the correct and lawful procedure was followed. It is significant to note that no actual legal challenge was made against the union, which would be the mechanism by which an employer would demonstrate (rather than simply claim) that a union had made an error in a call for industrial action.


As members would expect in such circumstances, every effort is being made to address this situation, in full discussion with Bro. Matthews and with other local officials.


Some of this work is necessarily confidential and cannot all be reported on detail at this stage. A fuller report on this issue will be prepared and circulated shortly, including the next steps identified by the Executive Council and discussed with Bro. Matthews.


Best wishes.


Yours fraternally






Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014 15:10

Election of Region 3 Executive Council Member

E-mail Print PDF

To: All Members Region 3

Dear Brother/Sister,


I am pleased to inform you that at the closing date for receipt of nominations in the election for Executive Council Member Region 3, Brother Andy Noble has been re-elected to office unopposed.

Best wishes.

Yours fraternally,


General Secretary



Latest firefighters' strike averted in Wales

E-mail Print PDF

Fire Brigades Union press release

Tuesday 28 October 2014

For immediate distribution

Latest firefighters' strike averted in Wales 

Possibility of pension breakthrough means no strike action called for Welsh Firefighters

The fire strike called for the coming weekend in England has been averted in Wales as a result of a significant change of direction by the Welsh government. While the Westminster government continue to ignore the concerns raised by firefighters, the Welsh government have now suggested an improved proposal that could significantly improve the position for a large number of firefighters in Wales. This would involve altering the way firefighters could choose to retire before the age of 60.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:18
  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »

Page 1 of 2

Who's Online

We have 2 guests online