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FIRE DISPUTE: COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES WELCOME ITS RESOLUTION

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The Local Government Association today issued the following statement following successful resolution of the fire d...
The Local Government Association today issued the following statement following successful resolution of the fire dispute:

'For the last two years the fire and rescue service has undergone one of its most uncertain and unsettling periods in its long and distinguished history. Throughout that period the LGA has played a vital role in helping the fire employers to reach a satisfactory conclusion to their negotiations with the FBU.

'Today's agreement signals the beginning of a new era for the UK's fire and rescue service. Significant pay increases for staff have been delivered in exchange for service improvement that will deliver a more appropriate, better-resourced and inclusive service focused on preventing loss of life.

'Improvement has been long overdue. An inflexible national standard of fire cover that had been in place since the 1940s no longer delivered a service to the public that was appropriate to the changing needs of the 21st century.

'The LGA hopes that today's agreement will result in a service that not only provides 24-hour intervention to a range of emergencies, but is equally focused on the need to develop ways of working that better prevent incidents in the first place.

'Greater community engagement, educating young people on the risks of fire, the installation of smoke alarms and sprinkler systems and providing better protection for older people are all part of today's fire and rescue services' role.'

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities president Pat Watters today said he was absolutely delighted that a deal has been reached with fire fighters and the prospect of damaging industrial action has been averted.

Councillor Watters said: 'First and foremost I am absolutely delighted that we have reached a deal with our fire-fighters and that the prospect of industrial action has been avoided.

'As those who run and manage the fire service, both Scottish local government and the eight Scottish brigades are very pleased with today's successful conclusion.

'COSLA on behalf of Scotland played a major role in ensuring the deal happened today and also helped to keep things going through some of the darker days over the last two years.

'COSLA's team have worked extremely hard with local government colleagues from the other three UK associations, that make up the employers' side, as well as with, the unions and the TUC, to bring about today's resolution.

'Indeed, I would like to single out for special mention the TUC and the major role it played latterly and also the assistance given by the STUC.

'It is comforting to know that common sense has prevailed, that public safety will not now be compromised and that the public can now rest assured - public safety was always the driving force during the negotiations.'

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