The Fire Brigades Union has secured £83,000 at an Employment Tribunal for members affected by the transfer of a control room.
On March 1st 2012 the Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service closed its emergency control room based in Newport and transferred the function to Surrey Fire & Rescue Service based in Reigate.
The FBU claimed rules to protect staff during the move under Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment (TUPE) Regulations weren’t followed properly and brought proceedings at Southampton Employment Tribunal.
The case was settled a day into the hearing and an agreement was reached awarding the affected members a total of £83,000.
FBU Regional Secretary Ricky Matthews said “Fire & Rescue Management teams should never under estimate the skills, knowledge and commitment of FBU members and officials to assert their legal rights.
“The IOW & Surrey Fire & Rescue Services admission that they failed to comply with their legal obligations and the payment of significant compensation to the union will serve as a warning that where employers fail to listen to FBU officials this union will pursue them through the courts and will win.
FBU Regional Secretary Danni Armstrong said “This £83,000 settlement negotiated on behalf of the FBU will send a clear warning to other Fire & Rescue Services currently going through a TUPE process.
“FBU members working in Control can be assured of the value this union places on them and the importance of the work they do in these increasingly difficult times. The FBU is the only Fire Service Trade Union with the wherewithal to peruse a case of this nature.”
Surrey FBU Secretary Richard Jones said “I am pleased that our members will finally now receive the compensation they deserve following the settlement of this long running case.
“This settlement underpins the value of the fire service working in collaboration with the FBU, whilst highlighting the consequential cost of the service ignoring us.
“I sincerely hope the fire service learns from this costly failure to negotiate with the FBU to prevent any further unnecessary spending of tax payers’ money.”
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