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Fire Brigades Union members are prepared to discuss contingency plans with the...
Fire Brigades Union members are prepared to discuss contingency plans with the

government in the event of a major disaster/terrorist attack

occurring whilst the fire service is on strike.

Andy Gilchrist, FBU general secretary said:

'There are currently no guarantees that our members will attend or assist

any major disaster whilst we are on strike. Firefighters will

not be in fire stations and emergency fire control staff will

not be in control Rooms. Everyone, including the government,

accepts that the green goddess cover will be wholly inadequate

fire cover under normal circumstances. If the government wish

to discuss the FBU's reaction to any potential major incident

or terrorist attack whilst we are on strike, John Prescott

should phone me to discuss contingency plans.

'This dispute could still be resolved before any strike action

is taken. The FBU has said we are prepared to meet with our

national employers or government ministers to resolve this

dispute before any lives are put at risk. However, both the

government and our employers seem hell-bent on proceeding with

a farcical wide-ranging review into the whole of the fire

service. The review is not due to report until at least mid-

December; our employers have indicated they will not meet us

to discuss a resolution to the dispute until after the review

has reported.'

Meanwhile, 16,000 retained firefighters voted in the FBU national

strike ballot and all 16,000 will be taking part in the

national fire service strikes.

There are 18,000 retained firefighters in the United Kingdom,

16,000 of these firefighters are members of the Fire Brigades

Union. The Retained Firefighters Union (RFU) has less than

1,000 members nationally and is not recognised by any sections

of the fire service, including the employers.

Helen Hill, a retained firefighter in Avon and secretary of

the FBU's national retained section said: 'The Fire Brigades

Union represents at least 80% of all the retained firefighters

in the UK. The RFU is not recognised for negotiating purposes

anywhere in the UK and does not have a seat on the national

negotiating committee (the national joint council). They are a

complete irrelevance in this dispute.

'It's a shame retained firefighters that are members of the

RFU do not feel that they are worth the same as their

wholetime colleagues. The FBU is fighting for pay parity

between wholetime and retained personnel. None of us want to

go on strike, but we are no longer prepared to risk our lives

for£6.21 per hour, (before stoppages).

'I would urge all RFU members to join the FBU, join the

industrial action and fight for fair pay for everyone in the

UK fire service.'

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