Mr Roddy Robertson, the (not so) illustrious FBU EC member for Scotland, has taken to facebook in the wee small hours, in an attempt to prosecute his argument for supporting the creation of a Scottish Allowance for firefighters.
His comments do not exactly make for surprising reading, given they are more akin to the type of comments you would expect to hear from management, so no change from him there then.
Interestingly, and probably by mistake, he has inadvertently admitted that a Scottish Allowance would mean that management would be able to instruct any firefighter to do anything they like, as their role maps would be effectively ripped up as a consequence of a Scottish Allowance that would include a paltry additional responsibility payment within it.
His basic premise is that as firefighters are going to less fires, they need to look at doing other work as well. He argues that a Scottish Allowance would allow this to happen.
Well, of course it would! Management would have a field day ordering firefighters to do anything and everything they wanted, with workloads going through the roof!
As we have discussed on this Blog previously, an additional responsibility payment is paid to firefighters who carry out work that is not contained within their role map (job description). However, a Scottish Allowance would not only dramatically reduce that sum of money to those who currently receive it, but would mean that ALL other firefighters would be legally required to carry out any and all additional work designated to them by management, whether it was in their role map or not, effectively ripping the role maps up.
Why would anyone want to agree to that?!
Pathetically Mr Robertson also lambasts comments on social media that challenge and contradict his own twisted logic, yet uses social media to do so! Oh, the irony!
The bottom line here is that Mr Robertson and his lackies are yet again trying to pull the wool over the eyes of their members by trying to sell them an allowance that will see their job descriptions ripped up and their workloads increase, all so they can look good with management, employers and the Scottish Government!
It is nonsensical when he suggests that as ARAs are currently a removable allowance, management could at any time take them from those firefighrers who currently receive them. If that was to happen, those firefighters would be perfectly within their rights to stop carrying out the additional duties that the particular ARA payment covered, so it is highly unlikely management would remove these ARA payments as they would lose a number of key, specialists functions.
It is therefore a bluff, and not a very good one at that, which merely exposes the fact that Mr Robertson is being less than candid with his own members (what’s new)!
There is another more obvious issue. This year, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service needs to save £12M from their budget. Does anyone honestly think that in those circumstances, management would be giving firefighters additional money and not expecting anything back in return?! Think about it!
Chief Fire Officers throughout the UK have wanted rid of the role maps since they were created. They see them as restrictive as they limit what duties they can instruct firefighters to do. CFOs want the flexibility to be able to tell firefighters to do anything and everything that management want.
A Scottish Allowance is a golden opportunity for management in Scotland to be able to do just that. It’s what they’ve always wanted and the Scottish FBU Leaders, true to form, are making the arguments for them.
To make matters worse, Mr Robertson and his minions are yet again insulting the intelligence of their own members by trying sell this allowance by saying that it will put firefighters on £30K.
The 1% national pay increase that is expected to be accepted next month will put firefighters pay (including the CPD payment) to just £250 short of £30K. So this tells us that the value of the ARA part of the Scottish Allowance will only be £250.
A 1% pay increase next year would see firefighters attain that additional £250 plus more, putting the annual salary to just over £30K.
So the choice for Scottish FBU members is clear.
1. Wait a year to be on £30K, with no fundamental change to your Conditions of Service, Contract of Employment or Job Description (Role Map), or
2. Accept a Scottish Allowance now (which is only worth an additional £250 per year to those who do not currently receive an ARA payment, and which constitutes a pay cut to those who currently do) and rip up your Role Map, selling your soul to management, for them to tell you to do anything they want, whenever they want!
As the old phrase goes – It’s a No Brainer!