Fire service HR ‘needs radical overhauling’

HR
in the fire service needs to be radically overhauled if the service is to
modernise successfully, recommends the Independent Review of  Fire Service Pay released this morning.

The
report will anger the Fire Brigades Union as it proposes only a 4 per cent pay
increase this year, and a further 7 per cent next year. The deal is dependent
on an agreement of a modernisation timetable.

The
report calls for HR to be centralised as "a matter of priority", and
describes HR policies and practices as raising "cause for concern".
It claims that the Fire Service only pays lip service to diversity, and
bullying is still too widespread.

Sir
George Bain, who led the review, wants to give local managers the power to
alter shift patterns, introduce flexible and part-time working arrangements and
deploy different levels of staffing at various times of day.

Retained
firefighters should be paid the same hourly rate and receive equal training as
their full-time counterparts to end a two-tier system, the report claims.

The
pension scheme is described as inflexible and it encourages staff to leave the
service early on medical grounds. Radical change is required because the scheme
is costly to both the employer and staff and poor value fop money for the
taxpayer.

www.irfs.org.uk

By Paul Nelson

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