Hants firefighters

Submitted by martin on 9 August, 2003 - 1:19

Firefighters win Home Office appeal - more await justice
By Vicki Morris
Four Basingstoke firefighters have won their Home Office appeal against their sacking on charges of bullying. The four - Barry Kearley, Steve Dunbar, Bernie Ross and Dick Thoroughgood - suspended from duty in 1999, and sacked thereafter, have spent over four years trying to prove their innocence and get their jobs back.
It remains to be seen whether their employers Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) will now reinstate them.
There were three more victims of management in Basingstoke, FBU officials Simon Green, Steve Ash and Richard Carrington. Brought in to represent the interests of Basingstoke FBU members, they wound up having to pursue their own employment tribunal to win the right to carry out their trade union duties. They won the tribunal, however, Simon Green suffered stress to the degree that he became medically unfit to continue work as a firefighter. Eventually, just before Christmas 2002, HFRS sacked him under capability, ignoring that they had caused his illness.
Unfortunately, a ballot for strike action in Hampshire FBU in support of Simon Green was narrowly lost, in part as a result of the atmosphere of witch-hunt and intimidation that management has created in the service.
Simon Green, Steve Godward and others victimised by management for trying to organise an effective union should be able to rely on the support of FBU members - in the rank and file as much as in the leadership, if not more so - in their fight for justice. If for no other reason than that no one knows whether they might be next on the management hitlist.