Summary: Airport Strike – Survey Responses: 472 The survey was conducted over a 24 hour period to Submarine’s contact database. Total invites were 2139 of which there was a 20% response to this subject. The demographic of subscribers is weighted towards business owners but does include a fair proportion of individuals who will be commenting from a personal view point. The age range will be between 25 to 65 years old, more likely to be male and work in St Peter Port having daily access to their computers from their place of work. Were you or your business affected by the airport strike? Response Percentage Yes 50.86 % No 49.14 % What was the estimated loss to you or your business through the airport closure? Response Percentage £500 + 34.95 % £1000 + 18.45 % £2000 + 10.68 % £5000 + 7.77 % £10000 + 7.77 % £15000 + 1.94 % £20000 + 10.68 % Please indicate examples of loss of business View Response Had to cancel a course in London on Tuesday morning. Not sure whether this wuill be refunded. Also another staff member lost 2 days of her holiday bwecause of the delay. I have put the maximum purely because there is no option to say 'don't know'. It is very difficult to quantify. Clients trying to leave the island were unable and missed flights to both Europe and America. They were very cross with the island for letting this happen. Unknown, as a postal businessthere would be delays in dealing with customer requests A Senior vice-president of a major US company, travelling from the US was supposed to visit Guerney yesterday with a view to conduct on-site inspections and meetings to decide whether to proceed with his investment. He got as far as Gatwick and had to turn back due to other commitments. He is now likely to go to one of the other off-shore jurisdictions such as IOM. 50% loss in room sales and cancellation of restaurant business Sale of papers through our shop Postal disruption leading to decrease volume of orders resulting in over-staffing Unable to make meetings in the UK - potential loss of business Meetings arranged with 12 different companies, now rescheduled therefore loss of man hours plus inconvenience! Late delivery of courier packages to European clients doesn't help hard fought reputation Unable to complete a property transaction as documentation could not be delivered by DHL POTENTIAL CLIENTS NOT ABLE TO COME OVER BUSINESS COLLEAGUE WASTED DAY AT GATWICK NO POST - STAFF MEMBER WHO DEALS WITH IT HAD IDLE DAY NO COURIERS- IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS NOT ABLE TO BE SIGNED Non attendance at work. Lack of fee earners and secretarial cover. Delay of invitations. No direct loss to us but a staff member could not get to work today as his East Midlands flight home yesterday was cancelled. He has incurred considerable expense and inconvenience getting down to Poole, hotel and ferry costs etc., plus the loss of one day's pay. Post not leaving on time. Scheduled meetings had to be postponed Staff couldn't get back on the island to go to work or visit clients (proposed new business) We were hosting a visit by an Executive VP from a NYSE listed company who was due to be here to exercise due diligence for locating some key business functions on the island. In the end he could only visit the IoM. Could not travel to London for a business conference meeting. Cancelled Flybe flights will not be refunded, although we had to make the decision yesterday and we have not been able to charge for what otherwise would have been a day-long meeting Difficult to say Unable to attend client site due to lack travel requirement. Not financial loss - but a key staff member has been delayed intransit for 36 hours. Also, we were bringing new staff into the island and it was pretty poor that we had to explain that there was a real chance that they would not be able to travel today. non recoverable travel expenses time wasted of chargeable employees sitting in airports or unable to attend client meetings off island Reputational loss as senior executives were unable to travel to meetings in the Island and naturally now question whether other centres are more professional and better able to conduct international business. No cost to me other than inconvenience as we had friends over who had to stay an extra day with us and we had three trips to the airport. Staff detained and unable to work. Unfilled Hotel Rooms Loss of production time. Hotel guests unable to arrive into the island. Meeting with prospective new client staff off , lost clients. Cancelled flights, hotels meetings, meal costs Our only loss was staff time. MD unable to attend pre-booked course. Flight, hotel and course costs lost DHL documents held up causing late presentation problems. Charges accrued. Men required to work on site to finish works. Financial losses not possible to calculate. Key project meetings with clients had to be rearranged and resulted in delays to an important project. Our secretary was stranded in Jersey enroute from the UK, for a whole day, this put pressure on the other secretary and office staff to answer incoming calls etc. Lost chance to pitch for new business; hotel costs. Difficult to quantify We wont know for a while but being unable to supply within the 24 hour period has hurt our reputation for prompt delivery. Not happy. No Post Accommodation reserved that cannot be occupied as guests are unable to arrive. Wasn't affected this time but easily could have been. The long term affect and negative press it has generated I feel will harm us all at some point. re booking trips, hotels, etc Delayed post leading to high customer services and loss of return business. Personally it has cost me 3 ferry tix, 1 hire car, £50 fuel and a couple of sleepless nights having being stranded in the UK. Refunds on airline tickets As Chairman of a business association, I can assure you that the overall loss to my members is gfeater than your maximum my boss had to book boat travel We will all lose in the long term! Additional overnight costs only, no lost business as yet. my 6 year old son was being trained by southampton coaches but missing one day could crucially affect his future career ;-) Local client stuck in UK and missed important meeting with us. European business partner unable to travel to Guernsey so missed deadline for deal we have been negotiating. It is unusual that I was not affected by this strike. I just happened to be on holiday that week and staying at home on Guernsey. Normally being stranded here would have cost me up to £1000 per day in lost business if I could not attend client sites in the UK. I am seriously considering selling up and moving there as I cannot rely on the infrastructure here. Difficult to estimate Several staff lost days work Delayed courier Cancelled client visits to the island Conservatory fitter stuck in UK. 2 days lost production. Supplier due to visit. Now rescheduled. Cost to him not recorded. 10 Couples who spend £2000 for their 10 day stay, say they will never return. OK slightly over the top, but multiply it Island wide and who knows !! I had to work overtime. Staff unavailable for work No loss of business but extra costs in re-arranging travel i.e. to boats to ensure staff could make connections beyond the UK Missed meetings lost deposits, hotels hire cars etc Estimated daily loss of visitor revenue for half term week. time and money I do not have a business so my views are based solely on the basis of an ordinary citizen's perspective. However, my family were directly affected by the first action taken by the firemen. employee not available to attend work Cancelled hotel rooms and lost Resturant trade. Employees being either stranded in UK and not being able to return to Guernsey or not being able to go away on business. my financial director was meant to be back to resolve an issue and could not. two more staff were unable to get over to guernsey from jersey. my tech guys mum was late and so he had to reaarange his life and our works schedule. it goes on an on. the van got left in the airport car park.... hotel charges, watsed time, air feight costs, shipping costs, wasted manpower Visit to UK to purcase machinary Cost of down time. Multiple UK Consultants unable to fly to Island for meetings, new member of staff turning up to three flights before finally getting here. due to post parcels packets being delayed being sent out and also goods in being recieved from our suppliers by courier Staff needing to take a holiday for the missed time. Directors unable to get to the island for board meetings Trips to London and Lux having to be cancelled Lost accomodation booking My hair dresser was stuck in Gatwick have had to re book. Not a big deal but still an inconvienience. She has had to re book a whole days clients. Hotel Booking Cancelled As we book people to come to Guernsey for leisure and business, the number of potential clients that will probably now never consider coming here is far in excess of £20,000 in value to the island, let alone our compnay !! Employees stuck in UK Failiure to attend client meeting unable to attend conferences staff stuck off island I could not get to work, hence had to take a day's holiday. It is not a monetary issue so much with me but the utter inconvenience and stress. Flights from Gsy to Gatwick then to Stockholm plus 3 nights acommodation at local hotels and abroad. Reputation of Guernsey and longer term damage detering people from visiting the island. A person was due to come over to the island on the day of the strike. He would have given our company and Guernsey in general free publicity about living in Guernsey. 3 days study 2 hotel rooms hire car boat fare people unclear about scheduled meetings making other arrangements and general disruption and uncertainity Do you believe the Fire Fighter's stated grievences are fair? Response Percentage Yes 21.19 % No 46.61 % I don't know 32.20 % Do you believe the pay negotiating body has acted reasonably? Response Percentage Yes 23.31 % No 38.98 % I don't know 37.71 % What is the strength of sympathy you have with the Fire Fighters position? Response * Percentage 5 4.72 % 4 8.15 % 3 11.59 % 2 8.15 % 1 18.03 % 0 49.36 % *5 indicates strong sympathy 0 indicates no sympathy What is the strength of sympathy you have with the PSRC’s (States pay negotiating body) position? Response * Percentage 0 40.26 % 1 12.12 % 2 12.12 % 3 16.88 % 4 11.26 % 5 7.36 % *5 indicates strong sympathy 0 indicates no sympathy Do you believe the Chief Minister was right to intervene in the dispute? Response Percentage Yes 74.68 % No 12.45 % I don't know 12.88 % Do you believe Guernsey should introduce no strike legislation? Response Percentage Yes 65.24 % No 24.03 % I don't know 10.73 % Please add your thoughts on this subject View Response I am not sure of the complexities of this, but the firefighters should contractually not be permitted to strike. This is damaging beyond belief, and tarnishes Guernsey at a time when it doesn't need this adverse publicity. This situation should never have come to this point, so it strikes me that the PSRC are incompetent and not fit for purpose. It has to be the most frustrating and embarrasing thing for Guernsey over the past couple of years, that feels like it is self-inflicted because it must have been avoidable. Shockingly poor. I am all for freedom of choice so if people want to strike then they should have the option. Some strikes get public sympathy and some don't. I doubt this one will because it is not a fair and reasonable argument which they are trying to have. At last, an occupation more reviled than bankers. We can never be sure we know all the arguments to make a full judgement No strike legislation should be brought in for public sector workers, ie. police, firemen, nurses, doctors etc. Too dictorial vital workers like these cannot be allowed to hold the island to ransom, they have too much power, so stricter legislation does seem necessary. No body should be able to hold teh Island to ransom regardless of the issues, we all work hard to place Guernsey on the may, such action is only harmful. I think it is entirely unacceptable that the States have allowed this dispute to reach the point it has yesterday. For goodness sake we are talking about the airport here - the single most important point of the island's infrastructure that should not be allowed to fail. They should have realised months ago that the PSRC is not capable of resolving this in a satisfactory manner. I find it absolutely astonishing that Deputy Brouard could say on radio yesterday that he is utterly surprised (something to that effect) by the action taken by the fire fighters. Where has he been over the last months? We could all see it coming and knew it would happen at the point when we can least afford it. 2 years and this is still not sorted and for how much - the arguement is over £110k yet one day alone has cost the island £250k and untold damage to our reputation - this isn't France is it !! The firefighters have used the ultimate weapon against the States by striking, knowing that that it would caused chaos and thus assist their cause. With most staff on a pay freeze this year I think it is disgraceful action. This is something that the Chief Minister should have intervened with a long time ago, it should not have been left to get to this stage. People are not aware of the full facts, only being told via media what the states want them to think. Contary to popular belief Fire fighters do not sit around playing pool and washing their cars!! It is a very highly trained job, and doing shifts enables people to have a second job if they so wish,this means that they actually work more hours a week than most people, so yes they earn more money!! people who complain should get off their bums and do the hours some of these guys do. The only time they get a mention is at times like this, no one even thinks about them being there 7 days a week normally so that jo bloggs can get on and off the island. The states arbitraitors need sacking they should have sorted this out the first time it came up, not as always left until people have no alternative and make a stand. Why don't we train the town fire fighters to cover the airport? maybe we should sack the airport firemen and bring in a crew from UK until new ones trained 3 strikes and your out! My thoughts are with the many passengers who had their travel arrangements ruined over the weekend, and the resulting frustration and stress caused. Firefighters know what the pay scale is like and the hours they have to work to when they commence employment. Guernsey should not be held to ransom by such a small minority of workers who quite frankly do not know what a hard days work is !! Personally i think they should have sacked all of the staff and re-employed them with new contracts that prevented them from being part of a union. Better reporting on the facts is needed as the public don't really know the full reasoning behind the action. The negotiating body should have acted faster and sorted this out last time. Not enough is known Why was this allowed to happen While strikes can be disruptive, they are a work forces right as a negotiation tool. Had the firefighters given sufficient warning (as is the norm in the UK) of the strike and avoided striking at a time where public users (holiday makers) would be most affected (e.g. a bank holiday), they would have carried more voter/public sympathy. As it is, their actions were selfish and only serve to show themselves in a bad light. If Airport Firemen didn't have second jobs then their loyalties wouldn't be divided and they could cover sickness / overtime etc. Mind you our windows might get dirty!!! It is franklly disgusting that an island nation can be held to ransom by a collection of individuals who are, on the face of it, very fairly paid for the role they fulfill. Their point could have been put across in a more mature manner and without inconveniencing the very people who pay their wages. In the private sector, they would have been dismissed without recourse for this kind of behaviour. There were individuals requiring urgent treatment, people attending funerals etc etc as well as the damage (both economically and reputationally) caused to the island as a whole. I expect a 7 year old child to take their ball away, not an emergency service - pathetic The airport firefighters are completely irresponsible. They have no idea who provides the money to keep them in employment. We have zero sympathy for them and they clearly just do not understand the damage that their unofficial strike action has caused to so many people. They should not be allowed to take this action ever again. I understand why they chose the bank holiday, but all it did was rile people and make the island look stupid Why on earth is there not one Fire Brigade for the whole of the island with some based at the airport and others at the Arsenal. I know that the training for the airport fire brigade is different to that of the "island" fire brigade but I'm sure the time spent sitting around with nothing to do by both brigades could be taken up with training for both airport incidents and "general" fires. I had some sympathy with the firemen until they went on strike. Their actions must have lost them any public support they ever had. No strike for essential services only (Harbours, airport and sewage carts!) Why can't the town fire fighters been trained for the airport. Are you aware that airport fire fighters get paid more than town fire fighters? not sure how much but it would be nice to find out what both sets of fire fighters get paid. It appears that both Submarine and the Guernsey Press have been suckered into their negative stance against the fire fighters by the PSRC, who have obviously leveraged the situation knowing that the finger would be pointed at the fighters. Submarine and the GP should both be old and ugly enough to know what's going on and be able to "smell the coffee". Don't repair the runway - we may not need it. Cretins. Couldn't organise a brothel outside the Portsmouth dockyard. We really seriously need our whole government structure overhauled, there is no leadership or accountability whatsoever. Thank goodness our chief minister had the courage of his own convictions to broker some forward movement. certain groups of people have a moral responsibility that goes with the job. I don't believe the full facts have been made available to the general public, therefore it is very difficult to make an informed assessment of the matter. However, my support would currently be swayed towards the fire-fighters, hard work and dedication to getting the job done should be fairly rewarded. I suspect that the Guernsey Press comments communicated the perception that public support had turned away from the Firefighters, and allowed the "moderates" to overpower the "extreme" factions precipitating a return to work and an acceptance of independent arbitration. The running of the island needs a complete overhaul - it simply unacceptable that an issue of this type (with the huge consequences of not getting resolved) be left to go unsettled for such a long period of time. We regularly market this island as a centre of excellence in so many areas - how stupid do we look if in fact we are unable to manage ourselves. Two independent reviews (Robinson and Tribal Helm) have now said that the method by which Guernsey negotiates pay & conditions with its public employees is archaic and ineffective. The fire fighters fiasco is proof that nothing has yet been done. The States must disband PSRC as soon as possible in favour of Pay Review Bodies. PSRC negotiators don't give a damn about the provision of services, only meeting their own arcane targets. Disgusted with both sides, totally unnecessary damage to the island at a time when we're trying to re-establish the tourism industry and cement our reputation as a business destination. The roles in question should pay a sufficient amount to attract applicants, and that charge should be passed on to the consumer through airport charges in exactly the same manner as anywhere else. Contracts or legislature must prohibit strike action based on remuneration. I feel really sorry for people who had got up early, were looking forward to their holiday, wasted money on taxis getting to the airport, having to cancel whatever plans they had made away, maybe having to pay babysitters and taking a day off work when its quite unlikely they would get that day back or be able to go in late. pay increases should never be lmore than cost of living A friend of mine landed in gatwick on Monday afternoon. She had travelled from Australia in a race to see her mother before she died. She was unable to fly into Guernsey on Monday as planned due to the Airport closure and her mother died at 5am on Tuesday morning. If this debarkle had not happened, my friend would have been able to say goodbuy to her mother before she died. The union and fire fighters have a duty to act responsibly in the Island's interest and go to arbitration, which they failed to do. They have damaged all Islanders, in some cases permanently, by their unprofessional attitude. I only received a 2% pay rise this year due to the economic crisis but I didn't go on strike. If I had then I would have been in breach of my contract and dismissed. Firefighters choose a vocational career and therefore have to accept that it will not pay as well as other careers. They have significant amounts of time off due to their shifts and many supplement their wages with part-time jobs. They simply can not hold the island to ransom because they want more money. They should grow up and start behaving like adults and do what they are paid to do. This would appear to be a management failing. The firemen appear to be not fulfilling their contract of employment. It should have been forced to industrial tribunal a long time ago if the PSRC felt its offer was fair and if the firemen wanted to contest the offer. It is no good the CM intervening if the only solution is to give in to demands. The Union is at fault for encouraging strike action when there should be (if PSRC is doing its job and doesnt just give in to demands for more money and if it isn't overuled by the CM) better, more constructive, ways to settle a dispute without disrupting services. They have demonstrated no duty of care to passengers. I think most people would think the airport firemen have a fair wage. If the Fire Fighters had previously agreed to have this matter resolved through arbitration then that is what should have happened The States should have got this sorted a year/18 months ago. The dispute is causing Guernsey to be a laughing stock globally with this causing long term damage to business and tourism. Concerns have also been expressed that this type of action will cause an airline to withdraw from Guernsey due disruption, hassle factor and costs involved. Ths would not be good for Guernsey. Members of the public and emergency servants should not be permitted to strike. They provide a lifeline service to the Bailiwick. And it may also effect my holiday next week if an agreement is not reached - you just don't know!!! For the second question, yes for the States but no for the union Sue the figherfighters for the cost of the strike has had on Guernsey's economy. Print their photos,names and addresses so the rest of Guernsey can withdraw serivices and withdraw selling them food. if the firefighters are not happy with their conditions they have the opportunity to resign and find employment in the private sector. Thoughtless action by the firemen and Unite. This has done them (especially Unite) no favours with the Public of Guernsey and visitors. Selfish behaviour by a body of people who know they have Guernsey by the balls and can squeeze to get their way. IN A NON COMMUNIST DEMOCRACY, IT MUST ALWAYS BE THE RIGHT OF ALL, TO WITHDRAW THEIR LABOUR WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES PREVAIL, WHICH NECESSITATE SUCH ACTION.DO WE WANT TO LIVE LIKE THE NORTH KOREANS, OR THE CHINESE NATIONS? I DON'T THINK SO! Whilst I sympathize with the firemen I think that going on strike is an absolute disgrace We cannot be held to ransom by a small group of workers, wherever they work. It's crap It's a ridiculous situation that is harming Guernsey's reputation no one should be able to hold air or sea connections to ransome. Chief Minister should have been involved from the start. It is a dereliction of duty for the States to allow such a relatively minor industrial dispute to close the island. I am at a loss as to how such imcompetance is allowed to continue. No only were our visitor numbers effected over the Bank Holiday but how many visitors will now switch to Jersey than risk another dispute ruining their holiday? Unbelievable! The firemen have been in talks for months. The PSRC knew what would happen if no progress was made,the States have let the island down, not the firefighters who should not have had to stike but felt it was the only option. I wouldn't be surprised if more depts follow their lead. I agree that a No strike legislation should be brought in but only for emergency services (I thought Gsy had this already?. There is very little detail on the whole thing. The fact that the firefighters will not go to arbitration stinks. The fact that they walked out on Monday because Aurigny were trying to put on more flights is awful and childish. Any chance the firefighters had for sympathy has gone with their actions over the last two days. All of Guernsey knows they have a cushy job - certainly the anecdotal evidence indicates it. Sure they must be fit and trained but they spend most of their time seemingly on downtime with stories of second jobs and kittys for buying the next toys for their quarters (eg pool tables). It is of course difficult to comment on the merit of their grievances when they haven't aired them. If the truth is they want more money for more hours at home then I have little sympathy. If they wanted more time at home they should give up the second jobs. Huge impact on credibility The states need to sort this fiasco out. The 3 essential services must not be allowed to put the island and it's economy in this situation again. The loss of revenue and reputation is incalculable and the damage is irrepairable. I haven't studied the dispute and the arguments being discussed. I can have no sympathy with anyone that strikes with concequences reaching many unrelated businesses and detrimentally effecting the image of the Channel Islands as a whole. Guernsey should have a no strike policy for all states employees. It was probably a good idea for the chief minister to talk to the Firemen but not if he paid them to go back to work!!! For all essential services a no strike legislation should be brought in. Shoot the b......s Just thought that if you take on a job such as a firefighter, I would imagine that unsociable hours, etc, were par for the course....I mean I'd be a sewage cart driver, but I don't like the smell so I have chosen not to do that job..... Neither side seems to emerge from this with any credit. We surely need improved industrial procedures and learn from this. Aurigny and Flybe should ban the airport fireman from flying with them as passengers for a year. They are entitled to refuse any passengers and the firemen would then experience the joys of sea travel to the Island if they wished to leave it Incompetance on behalf of the PSRC and complete disgregard for islanders from the Airport fireman. Everyone feels that they should be paid a fair rate but what is totally unacceptable is that they can affect the lives of islanders and businesses at what seems the drop of a hat. In my opinion the Chief Minister is accountable for the goings on within the States and should have stepped in sooner as it seems as though the PSRC/Fireman and Union were/are completely unable to resolve matters professionally. A bigger view needs to be taken on this to stop it from ever happening again. Spoke to someone who was an Aiport Fire Fighter in the 70's. They had no problem covering sickness etc - they rallied round, even if they got a call at four in the morning to go on duty that day. Havent things changed. Not sure i should really... They are lucky to have jobs in this current climate, other people haven't had a pay increase for at least 2 years. Employ further staff to cover. Difficult to know the true situation as the public are not well informed. Hopefully more will be learned this week. We did have a taster a short while back and that should have triggered a resolution of the problem. I don't understand why initial negotiations had to take so long and also why a resolution couldn't be reached. We're all supposed to be better communicators in this day and age and it appears those involved reached an impasse. It's an outrage to hold the island to ransome but presumably these decent men with semi-vocational careers, wouldn't have kicked up such a fuss without good reason. We, as islanders, need to be told that reason! I don't think that a true independant version of the dispute has been seen by the public, nevertheless the problem has been going on for too long with silly short term fixes put in place, but no real long term solution. I think the fire crews under state their pay and should not be moonlighting, possibly covered by legislation similar to that observed by civil servants. The airport and the sea port are both strategic assets, vital to the success of the Island and this situation has caused untold damage both reputationally and financially. This situation should never have been allowed to occur and certainly sbhould never be allowed to happen again Simple - if there's an insurmountable dispute between 2 parties, it must go to independent arbitration. Yesterday's "solution" was another farce. Press Editor/Chief Minister heard only one side of the story, and would hear the other if and when they now talk to PSRC - this is exactly what arbitration is there for, to hear both sides and then make a reasonable decision. That's why I have no sympathy with EITHER side - whether one party or both have acted reasonably is irrelevant for now, and would be determined by the arbitrator. Striking is an abhorrence generally, but especially in an island of near full employment - if all else fails, get another job! This issue should have been settled earlier there were enough warnings. For staff to feel this angry very often it is pure bad management. We, as an island, have been made to look like a tin pot outpost of the realm. We deserve answers to this disaster so that it cannot be allowed to happen again. I am very angry about it! What has the Chief Minister's intervention actually achieved? It is unclear whether a settlement has actually been negotiated. More importantly, why was the situation allowed to arise in the first place and why is there such a lack of transparency regarding the fire fighters' actual demands? i cannot believe that so little is known about what is going on with this affair. surely they have to amalgamate the town and airport firefighters so that there is cover - at the very least each should be cross trained. in the uk they call in the army. the police could be trained up.... i for one would volunteer a day a year to work up there. NO EMERGENCY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO STRIKE, AND ANYONE WHO FOLLOWS A CAREER IN THSE SERVICES SHOULD BE MADE QUITE CLEARLY OF THIS RULE Absolutely. It should be impossible for a few stroppy union members to bring the whole economy to a halt under ANY circumstances. The states must not prevaricate over this. It needs to be done NOW. Media blackout means other than concluding incompetence on the part of government and intransigence on behalf of firefighters, impossible to conclude what the position is. By Striking the Fireman forfeit any goodwill that may have been afforded to them . To deliberately disrupt other peoples lives and plans especially for your own gain is inexcusable Sack them all, import UK firemen immediately to staff the airport in the short term and advertise their jobs with a clear Job description/pay/conditions Public Services mandate states; to be responsible for, The provision and administration of facilities and services in respect of Guernsey and Alderney airports. They failed. It seems as we have a lot of unhealthy fireman. One would think that if them are supposed to exercise for 40mins per day they would be fitter. If recruitmen and retention is an issue then the attitude of Firefighters to thier colleagues is a major issue. On BBC a firefighter criticised the standard of new recruits and their fitness, what a wonderful welcome to the family of airport firefighters. While the fire-fighters may have had valid grievances (although I do not reaaly subscribe to this), I fail to see why they did not agree to go to arbitration - it would seem that this had been agreed but they then reneged, otherwise why would the signatures of two of their representatives have appeared on a document? With all the publicity given to this 'agreement', why did they then wait until the last minute to refute this - they must have known what had happened with regard to the 'invalid signatorures'. One can only assume that they deliberately intended to cause as much disruption as possible to further their cause, or that they did not think that their case was particularly strong. It has done considerable damage to our reputation as both a business centre and a holiday destination. While it would be possible to introduce legislation banning industrial action of this nature, I cannot help feeling that they would find other ways of being disruptive, such as a number of staff reporting sick. Speechless, how either side cpild let this happen is beyond belief. INCREDUALITY! I worked at the airport from 1960-68 in traffic and I was told when I took the job on that I had to sign to say 1. no striking 2. no union membership 3. no leaving the island on my day off in case I couldn't get back......I thought this was all logical - how can this have been allowed to happen...it is a disgrace. States should get their finger out and deal with situations before they get so out of hand instead of relying on people's good will PSRC do not negotiate but dictate no strike legislation for Airport Fire Fighters The Chief Ministers intervention has only deferred the problem. The Firefighters have got extra money, so they are happy! It should have gone to arbitration and solved it immediately as the panel had been set up. Now you have to wait for an independent body to be set up to mediate in this. At what cost? Further money and time wasting! This should have been sorted out a long time ago, states as usual The involvement of the union has not helped. The UNITE rep seems to have confused the situation more than helped to solve it Sometimes the only way to achieve an equitable solution is for the injured party to throw the toys out of the pram and make the other side sit up and take notice, especially if the other side can't see the problem!!! Like everybody else I have no idea what the hell it is all about, who wants what from whom and why because we get no hard information from the States or the Firemen's representatives so therefore I cannot take any position Because of this I would sack all the firemen - there are plenty qualified and available in the UK and EU The calibre of the people on the PSRC is not that of people able to deal with these sort of situations, which comes down to the fact that many of the deputies may be very nice people but they are not able (or qualified) to do the job. One solution maybe to incorporate the Airport Fire Service with the Fire Brigade. I would be good if the cost of this mess could be recovered from the Union. Our weak CM has given it to blackmail and paid a ransom. Why shouldn't the nurses or police follow suit. Its a bllody disgrace! If the fire fighters case is so strong - and I don't know any of the details - then why were they so scared of an independent tribunal? The message is clear if you don't get what you want then hold the island to ransom and the Stare will cave in. I suspect that, judging by the outcome of the last survey most guernsey residents ( at least those who repond to your surveys ) would be quite happy to see all the firemen sacked !! let alone denied the right to withdraw their labour. I do NOT share this view as I have past personal experience of the states body responsible for pay negotiations and I have not been impressed. Procrastinate on the process and force the workers to accept arbitration is the usual formula which, over a period of time, creates resentment. I do not believe that a strike action decision is taken lightly in this day and age. The media have disgracefully portrayed the firemen as villains and it is interesting to note that the editor of the press has only just met with the firemen - after authorising the publication of inaccurate attacks on these men. I hasten to add that I have no family connection with the firemen but a distrust of states pay award negotiation bodies. To deny workers the fundamental right to withdraw their labour when forced into a corner would be wrong. However, maybe the pay negotiation process needs to be re assessed and improvements made so that this sort of situation ( 2 year's process! ) does not occur. I consider that the proposal would be a knee jerk reaction. Every situation and claim should be judged on merit and this is where the media have a responsibilty to 'get to the truth' as early as possible. The Chief Minister should've intervened if he has a mandate to do so. I think Guernsey should introduce something to limit the impact of strikes. I think 'no strike' legislation might impact employees rights where they have little of those here anyway ie minimum wage etc. So, there we have it, MR. Le Cras stated on the radio Guernsey special that the dispute was not about money,£4000.00 problem solved! this has gone on far to long and needs fully resloving prior to the 31/12/2009 prior to other issues we cant be held to ransom and this has made Guernsey a joke. fly be has claimmed more in one day then this has cost to reslove but the damage to the island has been far more. if you want further comment -email@example.com This issue has festered for over two years and the Fire Fighters and more importantly their Union rep has by implication used blackmail as a tool to attempt to negociate.If the process had been dealt with under the agreed rules of engagementre pay the firemen could have resorted to the agreed arbitration process long ago. Why aren't more Deputies commenting on this? I want to know their opinions. Firstly, the firefighters rep - what a clown. Claims that wasn't his signature on one of the agreements, but the firefighters accepted the cash that was part of it. By their action in doing so, they accept the terms of the agreement. Secondly, that PSRC has let it get to this stage - shocking. Too busy debating whether to have an inquiry, no doubt. Finally, the firefighters themselves. I don't have any say on what pay they receive, yet they are harming me. A better idea would have been to ensure that there was enough staff available to allow the flights to come & go, while also publicly protesting to the States, or making their comments via the media. Not some obtuse moron that will keep saying "No" to whatever olive branch is offered. people who join unions or strike should be shot As a nurse who earns less then the fire fighters I have no sympathy for their strike action. Nurses could strike at the moment and I think would have great public support but we don't and would not as the public comes first. Whole situation is pathetic........and the States should never have allowed the situation to go on so long. There is a lot of damage done to Guernsey Business & Tourism. Behaviour on both sides was unacceptable. The dispute should never have been allowed to go this far. The PSRC may have resigned, but the firefighters went too far. They should all be sacked and replacements brought in from UK. Let's now wait and see who is next to strike! They should not have given in to them. The Chief Minister took far too long to get involved The PSRC should be ashamed of themselves they have made Guernsey look like idiots the PSRC should resign or be sacked Airport Firefighters should be deemed an essential service and not be allowed to strike. Firefighters who call in sick should have to take it as holidays The financial industry, which is suffering from an already fragile economic state, should not have to contend with trying to make Guernsey a sought out destination to do business only to have unreliable transport system. Business can and will go elsewhere... to Jersey I would think! They knew the pay and rota systems when they took the job on.The union now is going back 20 years since Ron Le Cras took over ' If you can't get what you want, everybody out' The firefighters requests seem reasonable. The States have known about the issues for a long time. They should never have let things get this far. Indeed, the amount of money which as been lost over this debacle could have gone some way to compensating the firefighters in the first place. This is an embarrassing situation for the island. If it is true that a lot of money is being spent on recruiting and training new firemen because people don't stay in the job then there is sense in using the money to retain people instead. This would require a change in policy for other States employees such as nurses and teachers so someone would have to get their sums right. Have any statistics been compiled as to why people leave these jobs. If it is money then it would be better to give them more rather than spend a lot recruiting someone else. If people are leaving because the job is boring or they want to further their careers extra money won't make any difference. The thorny subject of licences will rear its head too. This concept needs to be debated in the States as it will require giving the negotiators the power to make such deals which must be outside their mandate at the moment. The firemen are probably tired of pushing the idea and hitting a brick wall. Firefighters striking during half term was extremely distasteful There should be an enquiry in to the whole fiasco Why don't they just recruit more firefighters to increase the available pool and therefore negate the need for overtime ? I think the ripple effect of the strike action will harm Guernsey. No strike legislation - Yes - in necessary areas such as health/education/and of course travel to and from the island! It's not resolved yet so we have to wait and see as we have done on this for far too long already. They should sack them all and bring qualified staff that actually respect people in from outside the island !! The States have had ample opportunity sort sort this dispute out and have failed to do so. The Airport Firfighters had no otgher option but to take industrial action. When the majority of employees are not certain of a job, let alone a pay rise, the behaviour of the firefighters is disgusting. How dare they hold the island to ransom this way. I had little sympathy for them, now I have none. They don't exactly have a hard job, lets face it the majority of their day is spent in the gym, playing pool and racing around in their trucks. As for giving them £4k each and not telling us the tax payers what its all about! The reason for having a tribunal is so that disputes can be independently resolved. The firefighters original decision not to submit to a tribunal leads me to believe that they are in the wrong. I did have sympathy with the firemen originally but it has given Guernsey a bad name. On my redirected flight there was a holiday critic coming to do a report on Guernsey - I am sure his views will not be as good as they should be. Whatever the reasons, people in the fire fighters position should not be able to strike and cause so many innocent people to suffer. In this day and age they should be glad they have a job. I personally had no pay increase this year or bonus. I think it is very short sighted of the fire fighters to implement such extreme measures. Irrespective of whether their arguments are fair or not, they are becoming very unpopular with the general public. I wouldn't want to be an airport fire fighter at the moment. You should see some of the Facebook status updates from people stuck at the airport! People with key public service jobs should not be able to strike and hold the island to ransom in order to get what they want. A competant liaison and pro-active body should be formed that represents fairly both sides. There are may people working in the island who have to work unreasonable shifts, often at short notice. Most of them have had to take a pittance of a rise in their wages this year (or last) or none at all. In their cases their jobs are often much more stressful, dirty and hard than those the firefighters have to carry out. I can't believe that any emergency service does not have a clause in their contract to say they are not able to strike but must seek arbitration if they are unhappy with their lot. It's incredible!! The firefighters at the airport do nothing as I have a friend that works there so why they are striking I am not too sure but I feel it is very selfish! I cannot believe that the PSRC has been negotiting with the firemen for 18 months and a resolution was not in sight. This was brought to a head at the meeting on Monday 25 when the firemen articulated their case yet again to the two reps from PSRC who basically ignored the requests which resulted inthem being so frustrated with no progress that they reduced the category to zero. Something that I really think they shoukld not have done but they were getting nowhere. i am apalled that each fire fighter has received £4000 to guarantee cover over the next twelve months - nothing greater than blackmail and we should not tolerate this type of behaviour - we should have a contingent plan if they go on strike that the ordinary firefighters cover Al Brouard should resign. He has caused this situation by not dealing with the Firefighter grievences for the last 3 years. On another note - we would be interested to find out how many businesses are affected by fog and what is the estimated loss per annum due to this? If the islands businesses can survive several fog days per year, then surely they can survive one day in the last 30 odd years of industrial action by the firefighters? Firemen are acting unreasonably. If you don't like the job, resign and do something else. It's a free world. I suspect however they like the many of the "features" of the job. PSRC haven't got a clue. They've known about the problem for ages yet have worked with the urgency of an asthmatic snail. Al Brouard is useless...his display on Radio Guernsey confirmed he has no place in this sort of job. Resign now! The whole episode has been a disgrace. The Union man is a disaster. He only knows confrontation. The PSRC needs to get its act together. Does the States now pay everyone employed by it a retention bonus? Bang goes restraint!