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FIRE DISPUTE: UNION RECOMMENDS ACCEPTANCE OF NEW WORDING TO MEMBERS IN ATTEMPT TO BREAK DEADLOCK

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The Fire Brigades Union national executive council has recommended a new form of wording in moves to break the dead...
The Fire Brigades Union national executive council has recommended a new form of wording in moves to break the deadlock over the 3.5% pay rise due since last November. The union will consult its members through regional and brigade committees and the executive council will meet again on 2 June and consider the results of the consultation exercise.

The new wording was sent to the union by council employers yesterday and flow from Monday's talks. The union says if the wording is included in the Grey Book (national conditions of service) it will resolve the only issue raised by the employers that is holding up the 3.5% pay rise due since last November.

FBU general secretary Andy Gilchrist said:

'In our view the new wording is a positive response to our proposals. We believe this forms the basis of an agreement and we have recommended it to our members and will be consulting with them.

'If the response of members is positive then the employers must move quickly and pay the outstanding money due since November last year. That delay has caused real anger and they really will have no excuses left.'

The union's letter of 9 May set out the following proposal:

Where the shift duty system at Section 4 Part A Paragraph 7 of the Grey Book continues to operate, employees on that system shall be free to rest between midnight and 07:00 hrs other than on those occasions where they are required to respond to emergency calls, perform work arising from emergency calls or perform other essential activities within their roles which must necessarily be undertaken during these hours.

The National Employers responded on 20 May with the following proposal:

Where the shift duty system at Section 4 Part A paragraph 7 of the Grey Book continues to operate employees should be allowed to take reasonable rest periods when they are not required to undertake duties to meet the roles and responsibilities set out in Section 3 of the Grey Book.

The following is the form of word s that the Executive Council is now recommending forms the basis of a collective agreement for inclusion in the Grey Book:

Where the shift duty system at Section 4 Part A paragraph 7 of the Grey Book continues to operate employees on that system should be allowed to take rest periods between midnight at 0700 other than on those occasions where they are required to respond to emergency calls, perform work arising from emergency calls or perform other essential activities that:

(1) arise from the Integrated Risk Management Plan

(2) are within the employee's role and responsibilities

(3) are appropriate during these hours

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