Danny Clark, a Plaid Cymru activist and community councillor in Llangynwyd near Maesteg has started a campaign against proposed shift changes for fire service staff in Wales. I have sought to support Danny’s work in highlighting the difficulties fire service staff will face if these changes are made. The South Wales Branch of the Fire Brigades Union balloted members for industrial action short of a strike over the proposals for a new duty system, and the union’s committee met recently to discuss roster plans for Maesteg, Penarth and Pontypool, where 50 jobs will be cut and the firefighters left will have to double their weekly working hours to 96 hours per week.
The proposed plan by the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service of an alternative crewing system at selected South Wales fire stations, aimed at maintaining existing response times and levels of service to the public will make, according to them, make net savings for the service. However, it will expect longer working hours from crews, while firemen and women will be expected to work to an older age. I do not think this is an acceptable way to treat fire officers and believe that it could lead to tired crews that may become a danger to themselves and to the public.
The above is a straight lift from Bethan Jenkins AM's blog it's worth reading and is a campaign that is well worth supporting as the implications of the proposed shift changes will impact across all of South Wales. Bethan has already written to the FBU to request a meeting to discuss this matter further, and to offer Plaid Cymru’s support.
The petition will be presented to the petitions committee at the beginning of the new National Assembly term, and I fully support the campaign and urge people to support our Fire Fighters and sign the petition and the campaign.
This is the link to the petition.