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RDS Salary Schemes

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Hello all, the above scheme was mentioned recently on drill night and im just curious about the ins and outs of it all? The eye opening statements were “10 grand for a firefighter?” “It offers better flexibility” but im not wholly convinced, particularly as i find the current system more flexible ( WT in another service, wife works full time, currently juggling childcare in the mix and another bun in the oven ). How do your services work it? Do you have problems with day cover still? My station is WT/RDS with 2 rds pumps doing about 350 calls a year

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We rather famously halved our fire cover overnight back in 2010 when we changed from the traditional RDS to an On-call, salary based, guranteed hours system using rota software. Booking off dissappeared and you were contracted for set hours. The lack of flexibility meant people left in droves. Tbf the deployment was botched as the people who remained were simply asked to put down whatever hours of cover they wanted, plus the minimum number of hours required was only 30. Suddenly everyone was doing weekday nights and no weekends, and those who could do weekends here and there did not have the flexibility to book off if they had to, so they didn't do them at all. 

The kinks are about worked out now. We can move hours around, plot in them in advance when we're sure we're available, and take them out again. We have a central rescourcing team that oversees county cover. We still struggle for day cover but for the same reasons every brigade does.

There were obviously winners and losers but on the whole it's a fairly well remunerated system compared to over the border in East Sussex say. We don't clear as much as 10000, not for a firefighter anyway, but the South Wales system does (though you provide a lot more cover)

We are prepaid for the hours of cover we do. Built in to that is a threshold number of hours of operational activity. Exceed that in you go onto the hourly rate, which happens pretty often. 

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So how many does a 1 pump station have on at any one time? Are stations banded due to call numbers ( obviously some stations that are very quiet woukd welcome the salary scheme ) Are people allowed to book on ad hoc if they’re above their hours?

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Between 3 (yes 3, whole other topic) and 5, as our "new" pump only seats 5. We also have a co res car so can crew to 7 with that. We use a scheduling software called Kronos (also used by Tescos!). They are not banded by pay no, it is done on hours you can commit (no between 50 and 80 a week). Obviously those who commit more hours get paid more, but then the pre paid hours before you reach your "threshold" are higher, so if you wanted to be completely mercenary you would do the least amount of hours to make it more likely to be tipped onto the hourly rate due to a smaller threshold. New entrants are vetted quite thoroughly though so that their hours will actually put the pump on the run.

We can book on for additional hours yes. We actually gave introduced a scheme among certain stations where those who do so during daytime over and above their set hours get an enhanced hourly payment. This is still a trial however.

I am currently on the latest iteration of the system, a 40 hour variable. I send what hours I can do to my JO and he puts them into Kronos (quite a bit of work). I can move them about if I have to and can do more some weeks than others so long as over an 8 week rota it averages to 40 hours a week and helps pump availability. This will probably be the future for all new entrants.

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