London FBU Ballot result: "It's a landslide!"

FBU members in London have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action short of a strike in response to management threat to sack 5,500 firefighters. 4,222 voted in favour, with only 201 voting against.

The ballot result came a day after 2,600 (police estimate) London Firefighters joined a protest march and rally. The union has instructed its members to “withdraw goodwill” from September 24th.

The union has issued guidance on the industrial action:

  • A ban on the working of Pre-arranged overtime, which is non contractual;
  • A ban on non-contractual overtime i.e. any additional non contractual hours above core hours which are remunerated with either: time of in lieu, extra duty leave, cash payment or any other financial or incentive arrangement;
  • A ban on any new temporary promotion/acting up;
  • In accordance with the Flexible duty system arrangements, as per the Scheme of Conditions of Service Sixth Edition 2004, any positive hours worked during the stand by call out period for urgent managerial business i.e. fire calls, urgent accident investigations MUST be recovered immediately following those events, but only during normal managerial hours.  Those additional Positive hours will be transferred to stand by call out hours and only urgent managerial business should be carried out in stand by call out periods;
  • In accordance with the Flexible duty system arrangements, as per the Scheme of Conditions of Service Sixth Edition 2004, all managers should not carry out any request for additional duties on their rota leave days;
  • In accordance with the Flexible duty system arrangements, as per the Scheme of Conditions of Service Sixth Edition 2004, all managers should not be driving in standby call out hours unless requested to attend urgent managerial business for the authority.
  • A ban on participation in all voluntary projects, which includes the withdrawal from those projects members are currently participating in. This includes but is not limited to the following voluntary projects:

Addressing the crowd, the FBU’s general secretary, Matt Wrack, announced that, in view of the commissioner’s refusal to withdraw the threat of sackings, the union had now sent a further letter to the brigade, notifying it that a ballot for strike action would begin in seven days. The announcement drew rapturous cheers from those assembled.


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