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The government has finally woken up to realise public...
The government has finally woken up to realise public

safety will be put at risk by firefighters and emergency fire

control staff taking industrial action. Nick Raynsford, fire

service minister, called the FBU to ask for an urgent meeting

with the general secretary Andy Gilchrist and the president

Ruth Winters, yesterday. The meeting was called to

discuss the issue of safety during the fire service strikes.

Mr Gilchrist said:

'Finally, after six months, the government has realised it now has a major problem. Today, Nick Raynsford was attempting to morally

blackmail FBU members by stating that his contingency plans are

wholly inadequate. The FBU informed Mr Raynsford that there

is no need for these strikes to take place and rather than talk

about public safety, he should sit down with the Fire Brigades

Union and resolve the issue of pay.

'It is unacceptable for professional firefighters to continue

to risk their lives for the public of this country when they

are only being paid£21,531 per year. We now have seven days

to sit down and resolve this dispute. If the government really

cares about public safety they will use these seven days to

discuss the issue of pay with the Fire Brigades Union and not

the issue of safety. No FBU member wants to take strike

action, but they are all determined to get a professional

salary for the professional job they do.'

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