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FIRE DISPUTE: STAFF VOTE 3 TO 1 IN FAVOUR OF ACCEPTING STAGED PAY DEAL

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Firefighters and emergency control staff have voted 3 to 1 in favour of accepting a staged pay deal worth a total o...
Firefighters and emergency control staff have voted 3 to 1 in favour of accepting a staged pay deal worth a total of 7%. The decision was taken after an individual postal ballot of all 52,000 Fire Brigade Union members in which 56% voted.

But FBU general secretary Andy Gilchrist blasted fire service chiefs saying:

'Fire service staff have made a mature and difficult decision after a stupid move by the employers. The decision to stagger the rise in two stages was pointless, self-defeating and an industrial relations disaster.

'It caused widespread unofficial action and wiped out months of hard work trying to rebuild trust and confidence. We had a deal and they broke it without gaining anything but the disgust of the public.

'We have agreed a raft of major changes which have now been delayed by the utter stupidity of fire service employers. This is a period of major change in the fire service but after this many will be questioning the competence of management in actually carrying it out.

'They now need to rethink how they are going to contribute to rebuilding the relationship with their staff which they have left in tatters. And they need to start by recommitting themselves to implementing this agreement in full.'

Key points:

7% in two stages of 3.5%

13.74% pay rise for retained firefighters to achieve pay parity with whole time crews

An additional 3% for emergency fire control staff backdated to November 2002 bringing their pay rises to a total of 10%

An end to the overtime in conjunction with the introduction of local integrated risk management plans

The removal of barriers to locally agreed duty and shift systems

An additional 4% from July 2004

From 2005 a pay formula tying increases to the average rises of professional workers.

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