Chief fire officer Mark Yates pays back £3,000 for back operation

Malvern Gazette: Chief fire officer Mark Yates Chief fire officer Mark Yates

CHIEF fire officer Mark Yates has decided to repay his £3,000 private back operation money in full - saying it was never his intention to spark the fury it caused.

After more than a week of intense pressure, Mr Yates has finally issued a public statement in the last few minutes over the furore by revealing a u-turn on the fund.

Your Worcester News can also reveal:

  • Mr Yates had his operation on October 1 last year, 20 days before a behind-closed-doors decision was made to pay him the cash
  • He was suffering a ruptured disc in his lower back at the time, which he says slowly made it "impossible to function" over a period of time
  • He says the saga could "potentially harm the great reputation of the fire service" and has given that as one reason for his decision

The move has led to fresh calls for Councillor Derek Prodger to quit as fire authority chairman, led by the Labour group

The full statement from Mr Yates says: "Over the course of the last week, a great deal of media coverage and public debate has been given to the fire authority's decision to contribute towards an operation I required last year.

"Up until now I have refrained from making any comment on this matter because to do so would require me to reveal confidential details of my personal health and because I did not think it appropriate to comment on a decision taken by my employer relating to me.

"However, the best interests of the service are always at the forefront of my mind and actions, and I believe that the issue is now detracting from the great work the service and all its staff do on a daily basis.

"For these reasons I have decided to make this statement.

"Last September as a result of a prolapsed and ruptured disc in my lower back, and over a period of time, it became impossible for me to function from a professional and personal perspective.

"On advice of a consultant orthopaedic surgeon the best option available to me was to have corrective surgery, the removal of part of one of my vertebral discs.

"At that time the service was in the middle of some difficult issues, including periods of strike action, possible collaborative working with Warwickshire and consulting on the service's community risk management plan including a fire cover review.

"I chose to have the operation undertaken privately because I was in severe pain but the authority also benefitted from this as it minimised the time I was away from my duties leading the service and advising the authority.

"Following my operation I had three days sick leave and then a further 17 days on modified duties working from home.

"I returned to my full duties on Monday, 21 October.

"As permitted by the conditions of service for alI uniformed staff I asked whether the authority would consider making a contribution towards these medical costs.

"My operation went ahead on 1 October and members of the authority subsequently decided to make a £3,000 contribution to the cost of my operation.

"However, it has become apparent that the payment I received has left some staff and members of the public disappointed.

"It was never my intention to cause such feelings and I do not wish for this matter to cause further controversy and potentially harm the great reputation of the service - I have therefore repaid the £3,000.

"I hope this statement helps bring this matter to an end so the service can continue to focus on its valuable work in the challenging times ahead."

The saga came to light after a Freedom of Information request from your Worcester News.

It revealed he decided to go private, paying £5,090, and asked for the money back from taxpayers.

The decision to give him the £3,000 was taken by four fire authority members, who met in private, with no minutes taken.

After it was revealed, Cllr Prodger said if Mr Yates went with the NHS there was a 12-week waiting list, and he would have required time off work.

The service has argued that would have led to other staff being paid extra to cover his duties, potentially costing £8,500 had he been off for the whole 12 weeks.

* More on this story will follow in your Worcester News tomorrow.

Comments (20)

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1:03pm Wed 2 Apr 14

CJH says...

He did the right thing. Now get rid of the idiots who authorised it in the first place. They are the real culprits.
He did the right thing. Now get rid of the idiots who authorised it in the first place. They are the real culprits. CJH
  • Score: 36

1:15pm Wed 2 Apr 14

alanquattro says...

CJH is absolutely bang on target.
CJH is absolutely bang on target. alanquattro
  • Score: 21

1:23pm Wed 2 Apr 14

jb says...

I've said it before on this matter but WHY didn't Mr Yates have private medical insurance considering he is in such a senior position within the fire service? It was his own decision to pay privately, he asked for the contribution and like Mr Prodger and his associates they should have all realised before any requests or decisions were made that this was inappropriate.


- He says the saga could "potentially harm the great reputation of the fire service" and has given that as one reason for his decision
Such a pity this wasn't at the forefront of his mind in the first place. I fully appreciate what a great job our firefighters do at all levels but I'm afraid this 'behind closed doors' decision does not reflect well upon senior management, or the councillors involved.
I've said it before on this matter but WHY didn't Mr Yates have private medical insurance considering he is in such a senior position within the fire service? It was his own decision to pay privately, he asked for the contribution and like Mr Prodger and his associates they should have all realised before any requests or decisions were made that this was inappropriate. - He says the saga could "potentially harm the great reputation of the fire service" and has given that as one reason for his decision Such a pity this wasn't at the forefront of his mind in the first place. I fully appreciate what a great job our firefighters do at all levels but I'm afraid this 'behind closed doors' decision does not reflect well upon senior management, or the councillors involved. jb
  • Score: 12

1:28pm Wed 2 Apr 14

The Villan says...

Let's hope lessons are learnt from this debacle and new guidelines are issued forthwith to remove all doubt n the future.

I would also concur with CJH and remove the incumbents from their position in the council hierarchy.
Let's hope lessons are learnt from this debacle and new guidelines are issued forthwith to remove all doubt n the future. I would also concur with CJH and remove the incumbents from their position in the council hierarchy. The Villan
  • Score: 13

1:37pm Wed 2 Apr 14

marthajones says...

Well done for having the courage for doing it, and restoring a the little credible faith you had left. Now theDerek Prodger the bodger (also of Bus lane fiasco fame) should resign for approving this.
Well done for having the courage for doing it, and restoring a the little credible faith you had left. Now theDerek Prodger the bodger (also of Bus lane fiasco fame) should resign for approving this. marthajones
  • Score: 27

2:27pm Wed 2 Apr 14

solar1 says...

Mr Yates has repaid the £3,00 and I think he has shown high personal integrity by doing so. In fairness, if the rules state he can request financial assistance, then he did nothing wrong in seeking it.

However, when he states that "all uniformed staff" are eligible to seek financial assistance, I feel that it would be more appropriate if there were a cap on the salary scale of the staff who might be eligible.

I really don't feel that, if Mr Yates' salary is the purported £122,000, it should be necessary to offer financial help at that level of salary. I think it would be fair for the "front line" firefighters to be eligible but not staff who, it could be argued, are sufficiently highly paid to pay for their own private health cover.
Mr Yates has repaid the £3,00 and I think he has shown high personal integrity by doing so. In fairness, if the rules state he can request financial assistance, then he did nothing wrong in seeking it. However, when he states that "all uniformed staff" are eligible to seek financial assistance, I feel that it would be more appropriate if there were a cap on the salary scale of the staff who might be eligible. I really don't feel that, if Mr Yates' salary is the purported £122,000, it should be necessary to offer financial help at that level of salary. I think it would be fair for the "front line" firefighters to be eligible but not staff who, it could be argued, are sufficiently highly paid to pay for their own private health cover. solar1
  • Score: 14

4:24pm Wed 2 Apr 14

denon says...

But to cap it on salary causes trouble...say the operation was £80,000....which would be more than his annual take home pay , more
But to cap it on salary causes trouble...say the operation was £80,000....which would be more than his annual take home pay , more denon
  • Score: -6

4:36pm Wed 2 Apr 14

reflector says...

At least he has done the right thing now and I give him credit for that but it is a pity that this arose in the first place. It may well be that the conditions of service do make provision for such payments to be requested but I am sure that they don't make such a request compulsory and he and the councillors who authorised it, must know better than anyone how such a payment would be viewed by fire service staff and by the taxpayer.

Surely, they weren't hoping that it would remain under wraps so congratulations are due to those who ensured that it didn't.
At least he has done the right thing now and I give him credit for that but it is a pity that this arose in the first place. It may well be that the conditions of service do make provision for such payments to be requested but I am sure that they don't make such a request compulsory and he and the councillors who authorised it, must know better than anyone how such a payment would be viewed by fire service staff and by the taxpayer. Surely, they weren't hoping that it would remain under wraps so congratulations are due to those who ensured that it didn't. reflector
  • Score: 7

11:56pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Doogie 46 says...

Still don`t understand why he thought he had good reason to ask for the operation costs to be covered by the Fire Authority in the first place.
If I remember correctly, he paid the bill himself and then tried to claim the cost back on expenses - who does he think he is - an MP?
Still don`t understand why he thought he had good reason to ask for the operation costs to be covered by the Fire Authority in the first place. If I remember correctly, he paid the bill himself and then tried to claim the cost back on expenses - who does he think he is - an MP? Doogie 46
  • Score: 2

12:53am Thu 3 Apr 14

brooksider says...

Doogie 46 wrote:
Still don`t understand why he thought he had good reason to ask for the operation costs to be covered by the Fire Authority in the first place.
If I remember correctly, he paid the bill himself and then tried to claim the cost back on expenses - who does he think he is - an MP?
The pertinent quote is
"As permitted by the conditions of service for alI uniformed staff I asked whether the authority would consider making a contribution towards these medical costs."

I thought a fireman may only claim reimbursement of medical expenses if they arose directly from an illness or injury arising out of the execution of duty and at NHS rates.

But well done for CFO Yates for doing the right thing and I agree it is lesson that needs to be learned by our politicians.
[quote][p][bold]Doogie 46[/bold] wrote: Still don`t understand why he thought he had good reason to ask for the operation costs to be covered by the Fire Authority in the first place. If I remember correctly, he paid the bill himself and then tried to claim the cost back on expenses - who does he think he is - an MP?[/p][/quote]The pertinent quote is "As permitted by the conditions of service for alI uniformed staff I asked whether the authority would consider making a contribution towards these medical costs." I thought a fireman may only claim reimbursement of medical expenses if they arose directly from an illness or injury arising out of the execution of duty and at NHS rates. But well done for CFO Yates for doing the right thing and I agree it is lesson that needs to be learned by our politicians. brooksider
  • Score: 6

8:09am Thu 3 Apr 14

Bingo Little says...

Mr Yates has done his bit to restore some credibility, but questions need to be asked about the current abilities of the members of the Fire Authority.
People who can't recall attending the meeting where the decision to reimburse Mr Yates for part of the operation costs, (not sure if they were on holiday at the time ?, really !!)

Recent events, the departure of the previous Chief Fire Officer, and the subsequent costs of his retirement package, the former Deputy Chief Officer saga, leaves me thinking that the present structure is far from fit for purpose. Well done Worcester News for the reporting and investigation into this sorry state of affairs.
Mr Yates has done his bit to restore some credibility, but questions need to be asked about the current abilities of the members of the Fire Authority. People who can't recall attending the meeting where the decision to reimburse Mr Yates for part of the operation costs, (not sure if they were on holiday at the time ?, really !!) Recent events, the departure of the previous Chief Fire Officer, and the subsequent costs of his retirement package, the former Deputy Chief Officer saga, leaves me thinking that the present structure is far from fit for purpose. Well done Worcester News for the reporting and investigation into this sorry state of affairs. Bingo Little
  • Score: 5

8:35am Thu 3 Apr 14

Grumbleweed Connection says...

Well done Yates; at least you have shown common sense and a degree of morality that a public servant in your position should display at all times. Perhaps you should research the purchase of private health insurance now?

I would suggest a public inquiry now, should decide on the fate of the other public servants involved. I, for one, do not believe that their secrecy and amnesia are in the public interest. They must be accountable for such non-transparent behaviour.
Well done Yates; at least you have shown common sense and a degree of morality that a public servant in your position should display at all times. Perhaps you should research the purchase of private health insurance now? I would suggest a public inquiry now, should decide on the fate of the other public servants involved. I, for one, do not believe that their secrecy and amnesia are in the public interest. They must be accountable for such non-transparent behaviour. Grumbleweed Connection
  • Score: 7

9:24am Thu 3 Apr 14

thesquirrel says...

Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo.
Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo. thesquirrel
  • Score: -5

12:40pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Merlin123 says...

Mr Yates has not done the right thing for any other reasons but that he was caught, and is now trying to claw back some credibility. He should never have asked for the money, it is morally reprehensible that he should have even considered it. However it does not surprise me that he chose to abuse the authority invested in him, as I know from first hand experience how corrupt and self serving certain members of the Fire Service are. Maybe I can now claim for the treatment and medication that I still need as a result of the Service ignoring the bullying tactics of certain senior officers?

As for the idiot councillors who approved it, they should resign with immediate effect, and if they so desire, stand for reelection by the public at the earliest opportunity, we will then see what the true opinion of them is.
Mr Yates has not done the right thing for any other reasons but that he was caught, and is now trying to claw back some credibility. He should never have asked for the money, it is morally reprehensible that he should have even considered it. However it does not surprise me that he chose to abuse the authority invested in him, as I know from first hand experience how corrupt and self serving certain members of the Fire Service are. Maybe I can now claim for the treatment and medication that I still need as a result of the Service ignoring the bullying tactics of certain senior officers? As for the idiot councillors who approved it, they should resign with immediate effect, and if they so desire, stand for reelection by the public at the earliest opportunity, we will then see what the true opinion of them is. Merlin123
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Tomigti says...

thesquirrel wrote:
Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo.
You have obviously not been paying much attnetion to the news Mr Squirrel,
The Pension???? - Has the recent strikes not been related to the security of the pensions as well as other things.
The Job Security???? - The planned cuts that the fire service face, Loss of applicances, loss of Jobs.
The Nine-Five??- Your obviously unaware of the shift patterns that Firefighters and Officers complete?
The Tea Breaks???? This made me chuckle, So when Firefighters go on Long Jobs, they just put their hoses down whilst the fires are still burning or people still stuck in their car, and go "hold on, its 10.30, time for a brew, mines tea and 2"
The Sick Benefits????- Firefighters are provided with Sick leave as any company would have to offer.
The Gravy Train??? - Obviously you have not had to see and experience some things that a Firefighter/Officer has to see or experience. It is not a cushy number.

Just a number of things that has slightly annoyed me with your post.
[quote][p][bold]thesquirrel[/bold] wrote: Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo.[/p][/quote]You have obviously not been paying much attnetion to the news Mr Squirrel, The Pension???? - Has the recent strikes not been related to the security of the pensions as well as other things. The Job Security???? - The planned cuts that the fire service face, Loss of applicances, loss of Jobs. The Nine-Five??- Your obviously unaware of the shift patterns that Firefighters and Officers complete? The Tea Breaks???? This made me chuckle, So when Firefighters go on Long Jobs, they just put their hoses down whilst the fires are still burning or people still stuck in their car, and go "hold on, its 10.30, time for a brew, mines tea and 2" The Sick Benefits????- Firefighters are provided with Sick leave as any company would have to offer. The Gravy Train??? - Obviously you have not had to see and experience some things that a Firefighter/Officer has to see or experience. It is not a cushy number. Just a number of things that has slightly annoyed me with your post. Tomigti
  • Score: 5

1:48pm Thu 3 Apr 14

THE FACTS says...

thesquirrel wrote:
Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo.
Perfect summary of the situation.
[quote][p][bold]thesquirrel[/bold] wrote: Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo.[/p][/quote]Perfect summary of the situation. THE FACTS
  • Score: -4

1:58pm Thu 3 Apr 14

THE FACTS says...

Tomigti wrote:
thesquirrel wrote:
Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo.
You have obviously not been paying much attnetion to the news Mr Squirrel,
The Pension???? - Has the recent strikes not been related to the security of the pensions as well as other things.
The Job Security???? - The planned cuts that the fire service face, Loss of applicances, loss of Jobs.
The Nine-Five??- Your obviously unaware of the shift patterns that Firefighters and Officers complete?
The Tea Breaks???? This made me chuckle, So when Firefighters go on Long Jobs, they just put their hoses down whilst the fires are still burning or people still stuck in their car, and go "hold on, its 10.30, time for a brew, mines tea and 2"
The Sick Benefits????- Firefighters are provided with Sick leave as any company would have to offer.
The Gravy Train??? - Obviously you have not had to see and experience some things that a Firefighter/Officer has to see or experience. It is not a cushy number.

Just a number of things that has slightly annoyed me with your post.
Some facts

1,The average day for the fire fighter does not include fighting a single fire.
2. Almost half of the poll tax paid into the fire authority is to fund the pensions of retired firemen...not to fund the putting out of fires.
3. Many firemen have second jobs because the night shift is spent asleep.
4. Research that takes the above into account clearly demonstrates the number of firemen and vehicles is greater than needed to manage the volume of fires.
5 Striking firemen do not increase public sympathy ... when they retire before non government employed persons, have a final salary pension scheme which no longer exists in private industry, and enjoy second jobs or lots of free time.

I am happy to debate the above but try to avoid the fire and police culture of bullying and shouting.
[quote][p][bold]Tomigti[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thesquirrel[/bold] wrote: Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo.[/p][/quote]You have obviously not been paying much attnetion to the news Mr Squirrel, The Pension???? - Has the recent strikes not been related to the security of the pensions as well as other things. The Job Security???? - The planned cuts that the fire service face, Loss of applicances, loss of Jobs. The Nine-Five??- Your obviously unaware of the shift patterns that Firefighters and Officers complete? The Tea Breaks???? This made me chuckle, So when Firefighters go on Long Jobs, they just put their hoses down whilst the fires are still burning or people still stuck in their car, and go "hold on, its 10.30, time for a brew, mines tea and 2" The Sick Benefits????- Firefighters are provided with Sick leave as any company would have to offer. The Gravy Train??? - Obviously you have not had to see and experience some things that a Firefighter/Officer has to see or experience. It is not a cushy number. Just a number of things that has slightly annoyed me with your post.[/p][/quote]Some facts 1,The average day for the fire fighter does not include fighting a single fire. 2. Almost half of the poll tax paid into the fire authority is to fund the pensions of retired firemen...not to fund the putting out of fires. 3. Many firemen have second jobs because the night shift is spent asleep. 4. Research that takes the above into account clearly demonstrates the number of firemen and vehicles is greater than needed to manage the volume of fires. 5 Striking firemen do not increase public sympathy ... when they retire before non government employed persons, have a final salary pension scheme which no longer exists in private industry, and enjoy second jobs or lots of free time. I am happy to debate the above but try to avoid the fire and police culture of bullying and shouting. THE FACTS
  • Score: -2

3:14pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Real Facts says...

THE FACTS wrote:
Tomigti wrote:
thesquirrel wrote:
Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo.
You have obviously not been paying much attnetion to the news Mr Squirrel,
The Pension???? - Has the recent strikes not been related to the security of the pensions as well as other things.
The Job Security???? - The planned cuts that the fire service face, Loss of applicances, loss of Jobs.
The Nine-Five??- Your obviously unaware of the shift patterns that Firefighters and Officers complete?
The Tea Breaks???? This made me chuckle, So when Firefighters go on Long Jobs, they just put their hoses down whilst the fires are still burning or people still stuck in their car, and go "hold on, its 10.30, time for a brew, mines tea and 2"
The Sick Benefits????- Firefighters are provided with Sick leave as any company would have to offer.
The Gravy Train??? - Obviously you have not had to see and experience some things that a Firefighter/Officer has to see or experience. It is not a cushy number.

Just a number of things that has slightly annoyed me with your post.
Some facts

1,The average day for the fire fighter does not include fighting a single fire.
2. Almost half of the poll tax paid into the fire authority is to fund the pensions of retired firemen...not to fund the putting out of fires.
3. Many firemen have second jobs because the night shift is spent asleep.
4. Research that takes the above into account clearly demonstrates the number of firemen and vehicles is greater than needed to manage the volume of fires.
5 Striking firemen do not increase public sympathy ... when they retire before non government employed persons, have a final salary pension scheme which no longer exists in private industry, and enjoy second jobs or lots of free time.

I am happy to debate the above but try to avoid the fire and police culture of bullying and shouting.
1,The average day for the fire fighter does not include fighting a single fire.

Hm. Luck of the draw I'm afraid. Sometimes you're busy, sometimes you're not.
Can be seasonal too. It's quite a relief when it's a call that's unlikely to put you through the emotion mill again.
The grey swollen body in the river with mould growing on it.
The crushed dead baby on the motorway.
The brothers stuck to the floor by their cooked body fluids.
The suicide that wrecks half your crew.
The arson that destroys lives.
Human fat dripping off the wall.
Scattered pieces of humanity on a railway track.
The crushed limbs and destroyed lives.
The firefighters killed when the warehouse collapses on them.
A flag draped coffin on an aerial appliance flanked by Firefighters.

I've been to every single one of these. I can remember chapter and verse on every single one.

I'd call it luck of the draw.
Oh; and training. We do quite a lot of that. If you want to see what goes on at a Fire Station, go to their next open day. The season starts quite soon- you'll be more than welcome and you can ask any questions you want!

2. Almost half of the poll tax paid into the fire authority is to fund the pensions of retired firemen...not to fund the putting out of fires.

I think around 80% of the funding goes to salaries and pension. See my answer to point 1.

3. Many firemen have second jobs because the night shift is spent asleep.

Many do. I don't personally. But when you're away from home 42 hours a week, missing birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas again and again and again...
Sleeping at night. Of course it happens. We spend 15 hours a night on shift. We can still respond quickly.

4. Research that takes the above into account clearly demonstrates the number of firemen and vehicles is greater than needed to manage the volume of fires.

Government research. The same research that says we need only 80,000 in our Army. We'll see eh?

5 Striking firemen do not increase public sympathy ... when they retire before non government employed persons, have a final salary pension scheme which no longer exists in private industry, and enjoy second jobs or lots of free time.

The pension is something to look forward to after all my points in 1. and 3. above.
Sympathy? When I've been on strike I've ALWAYS had great feedback from the public.

NEXT!
[quote][p][bold]THE FACTS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tomigti[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thesquirrel[/bold] wrote: Oh to be a highly paid public servant! If only my parents had steered me towards a career in the public sector. The pension, the job security, the nine 'til five, the tea breaks, the sick benefits, the gravy train. The ability to stop work and go on strike if I want to be paid more without putting my job at risk. The generous redundancy if my job does go. The joy of having a political party funded by my colleagues that will work to maintain the status quo.[/p][/quote]You have obviously not been paying much attnetion to the news Mr Squirrel, The Pension???? - Has the recent strikes not been related to the security of the pensions as well as other things. The Job Security???? - The planned cuts that the fire service face, Loss of applicances, loss of Jobs. The Nine-Five??- Your obviously unaware of the shift patterns that Firefighters and Officers complete? The Tea Breaks???? This made me chuckle, So when Firefighters go on Long Jobs, they just put their hoses down whilst the fires are still burning or people still stuck in their car, and go "hold on, its 10.30, time for a brew, mines tea and 2" The Sick Benefits????- Firefighters are provided with Sick leave as any company would have to offer. The Gravy Train??? - Obviously you have not had to see and experience some things that a Firefighter/Officer has to see or experience. It is not a cushy number. Just a number of things that has slightly annoyed me with your post.[/p][/quote]Some facts 1,The average day for the fire fighter does not include fighting a single fire. 2. Almost half of the poll tax paid into the fire authority is to fund the pensions of retired firemen...not to fund the putting out of fires. 3. Many firemen have second jobs because the night shift is spent asleep. 4. Research that takes the above into account clearly demonstrates the number of firemen and vehicles is greater than needed to manage the volume of fires. 5 Striking firemen do not increase public sympathy ... when they retire before non government employed persons, have a final salary pension scheme which no longer exists in private industry, and enjoy second jobs or lots of free time. I am happy to debate the above but try to avoid the fire and police culture of bullying and shouting.[/p][/quote]1,The average day for the fire fighter does not include fighting a single fire. Hm. Luck of the draw I'm afraid. Sometimes you're busy, sometimes you're not. Can be seasonal too. It's quite a relief when it's a call that's unlikely to put you through the emotion mill again. The grey swollen body in the river with mould growing on it. The crushed dead baby on the motorway. The brothers stuck to the floor by their cooked body fluids. The suicide that wrecks half your crew. The arson that destroys lives. Human fat dripping off the wall. Scattered pieces of humanity on a railway track. The crushed limbs and destroyed lives. The firefighters killed when the warehouse collapses on them. A flag draped coffin on an aerial appliance flanked by Firefighters. I've been to every single one of these. I can remember chapter and verse on every single one. I'd call it luck of the draw. Oh; and training. We do quite a lot of that. If you want to see what goes on at a Fire Station, go to their next open day. The season starts quite soon- you'll be more than welcome and you can ask any questions you want! 2. Almost half of the poll tax paid into the fire authority is to fund the pensions of retired firemen...not to fund the putting out of fires. I think around 80% of the funding goes to salaries and pension. See my answer to point 1. 3. Many firemen have second jobs because the night shift is spent asleep. Many do. I don't personally. But when you're away from home 42 hours a week, missing birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas again and again and again... Sleeping at night. Of course it happens. We spend 15 hours a night on shift. We can still respond quickly. 4. Research that takes the above into account clearly demonstrates the number of firemen and vehicles is greater than needed to manage the volume of fires. Government research. The same research that says we need only 80,000 in our Army. We'll see eh? 5 Striking firemen do not increase public sympathy ... when they retire before non government employed persons, have a final salary pension scheme which no longer exists in private industry, and enjoy second jobs or lots of free time. The pension is something to look forward to after all my points in 1. and 3. above. Sympathy? When I've been on strike I've ALWAYS had great feedback from the public. NEXT! Real Facts
  • Score: 5

4:41pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

Of course the 4 Councillors involved should resign, and are we expected to think that leaders Geraghty and Hardman knew nothing of this, NOT ON YOUR LIFE.
And without the Worcester News forcing this infomation out by the Freedom Of Information Act this would have been a very successful old pals act carried out by 4 Tory councillors spending public money BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
And these actions would have also occured if there hadn't been a public outcry about the cuts to supporting peoples services for the disabled and Elderly, again with 3 Tory Councilors to again meet to make decisions BEHIND CLOSED DOORS in Private, having refused offers of independant observers.
Do we have a democracy or do we have a Tory Secret Society?
What else has been decided BEHIND CLOSED DOORS in private?
Were all the Tory Councilors aware of these happenings?
Roll on the Elections.
Of course the 4 Councillors involved should resign, and are we expected to think that leaders Geraghty and Hardman knew nothing of this, NOT ON YOUR LIFE. And without the Worcester News forcing this infomation out by the Freedom Of Information Act this would have been a very successful old pals act carried out by 4 Tory councillors spending public money BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. And these actions would have also occured if there hadn't been a public outcry about the cuts to supporting peoples services for the disabled and Elderly, again with 3 Tory Councilors to again meet to make decisions BEHIND CLOSED DOORS in Private, having refused offers of independant observers. Do we have a democracy or do we have a Tory Secret Society? What else has been decided BEHIND CLOSED DOORS in private? Were all the Tory Councilors aware of these happenings? Roll on the Elections. Jabbadad
  • Score: 4

9:01am Wed 9 Apr 14

green49 says...

All mates together Jabbadad,
All mates together Jabbadad, green49
  • Score: 0

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