You will by now have received a letter from Scottish Fire & Rescue Service dated 30 January 2018. The letter appears to set out the ‘final’ position of both the Chief Fire Officer on behalf of the service and the Fire Board Chair, regarding its proposal to change the terms and conditions of its operational staff under the guise of ‘Service Transformation’.
It is vitally important to let our members know that we have not had any discussions with the service regarding service transformation, nor did we have sight of the details contained in the letter until Tuesday afternoon (30 January).
While not wishing to comment on the proposals themselves in either a negative or positive tone, we would wish to express our disappointment in the way the service has handled this matter.
The RFU has represented its members for over 40 years and during this time we have never witnessed this style of negotiations from an Employer before. We understand that the FBU are of a similar opinion as we are, and agree that the actions by the service has caused unnecessary confusion to the unions and the employees/members, creating a situation whereby nobody is clear how future negotiations can take place when an offer appears to have been made directly from the employer to the employee, bypassing the representative bodies and breaching formal collective bargaining agreements.
Negotiations with Scottish Fire had been progressing regarding the matter of Standardisation of Terms and Conditions (T&Cs), but these talks did not include Service Transformation.
What we can assure our members is that the RFU will continue to undertake our role as a professional organisation, adhering to confidentiality, trade union law, recognition agreements and act in the best interests of our members.
At this point in time it was important to issue clarification on the matter from our perspective, so members understand that we are in an unprecedented situation with no obvious next step.
We will continue to liaise with both the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and the Fire Board in an attempt to get matters back on track and allow negotiations to commence regarding Service Transformation.
A final offer has now been made to the RFU regarding Standardisation which we are considering and will share with members shortly.
A further update will be provided to members when relevant information becomes available.
Chief Executive Officer