Fire Brigades Union ‘optimistic’ that fresh talks will avert strike

Employers
and firefighters‘ union leaders are set to meet for
fresh pay talks, hoping to avert the threat of a national strike next month. 

The
Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said it was "cautiously optimistic" that a
deal could now be done, after negotiations broke down earlier this month. 

The
union claimed local authority employers had turned a "shambles into a
crisis" after a deal to pay firefighters a 3.5
per cent rise from last November and another 4.2 per cent from last month was scuppered at the last minute.

 The
row centres on employers wanting bank holidays to be treated as a normal
working day – but the FBU said this could mean extra staff having to work on
public holidays at a cost of £30m a year.

 A
FBU spokesman said: "We don’t want to get wildly enthusiastic because we
have been very close to a settlement before. We are hopeful it will be sorted
today."

 By Mike Berry

 

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