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FIREFIGHTERS' TALKS WITH ACAS FAIL TO AVERT STRIKES

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Derbyshire firefighters have announced they could be striking for a third time in the dispute over cuts in funding,...
Derbyshire firefighters have announced they could be striking for a third time in the dispute over cuts in funding, reports BBC Derby.

The Fire Brigades Union has agreed a third stoppage after the latest talks with conciliation service ACAS failed last night.

Several sessions of talks between Derbyshire CC and the union have ended in deadlock. The authority put forward a new package of cuts last week which would retain a second high rise appliance in Derby and reprieve some posts.

This was further discussed last night between an ACAS negotiator and union leaders, but no agreement was reached.

Representatives from the union's Derbyshire branches have now agreed not to ballot on the council's offer because they say it has not been improved enough. Derbyshire FBU chairman Steve Pickering says his members are adamant they cannot back down because lives would be at risk.

He commented: 'We've done it because we are very disappointed by the reaction of Derbyshire CC since we balloted to strike and after taking the first one on Monday, we're taking another one on Saturday - and they've come up with nothing whatsoever to avert the strikes and to stop the cuts to the fire engines, firefighters, fire officers and Derbyshire Fire Service'.

However, the union said it will go back to the negotiating table if the county council makes a new offer.

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