Employers’ group chair ‘sacked for backing a settlement’ in fire dispute

The chairman of
the employers’ group negotiating with union leaders in the firefighters’ pay
dispute has claimed she was sacked for backing a settlement.

Christina Jebb
accused the Local Government Association of being "totally
irresponsible" after it rejected a deal in a vote on Monday.

In consequence
of the rejection, firefighters will be balloted on strike action next week. Troops
are being trained to operate fire engines in case of a walkout.

Jebb claimed
the deal was rejected because Conservative and Labour members were
"focusing on political manoeuvring" instead of trying to resolve the
dispute.

She said she
had been told that she was sacked for voting in favour of the deal and
revealing her support for it in a radio interview.

The LGA said
Jebb had failed to represent the employers and had "stood down".

It added that a
3.5 per cent pay rise, backdated to November 2003, will be signed off as soon
as the FBU agrees to treat public holidays as normal working days.

Firefighters
receive double-time pay and a day off in lieu for every public holiday worked
and the LGA’s position is that it is reasonable therefore to expect
firefighters to work normally on such days.

By
Mike Berry

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