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The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities will today propose a compromise pay settlement aimed at averting a str...
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities will today propose a compromise pay settlement aimed at averting a strike in the fire service when the Fire Brigades Union meets the employers.

COSLA will suggest 1.5% is paid from next month with a further payment in April 1994, which would represent the additional amount the firefighters would have received if their pay formula had been applied. The formula links firefighters' pay to the upper quartile of male manual worker earnings. The Department of Employment was due yesterday to release the data on which the formula is worked out. The figure is not expected to be significantly greater than 1.5%.

COSLA said this approach would mean councils could budget for the formula outcome without affecting current year expenditure limits. 'The costs to authorities of even limited industrial action will far exceed the costs of applying the formula even from its due date', said a joint statement.

The FBU is due to send out ballot papers on Monday asking members if they are prepared to support a series of one day national strikes. A result is due on 1 November. It will be the first union to operate new rules on strike ballots introduced by the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993. The Act requires a cooling off period of at least seven days between the announcement of the ballot result and the commencement of action. Home Secretary Michael Howard confirmed on Tuesday at a meeting with the employers that local government would pick up the costs of providing emergency cover. An agreed statement said it is up to the employers to decide to apply the firefighters pay formula next year. The employers hope the statement will reassure firefighters they can keep their promise to return to the pay formula in 1994.
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