Fire service’s disappointment at talks failure

Firefighters’
employers are disappointed that the eight-day strike action over pay was not
postponed.

The
employers said talks were almost complete after agreeing a 16 per cent pay
increase – taking basic pay to £25,000 a year by November 2003.

The
parties also made agreements on overtime and the introduction of a more
flexible work system alongside the current ‘four on, four off’ shift
pattern.     

However,
the Government refused to fund the £80m needed to complete the deal.

Jim
Chrystie, spokesman for the Employers’ Organisation for Local Government, said:
"We are very disappointed, there was no reason why the strikes should go
ahead as we were very close to an agreement."

Almost
two-thirds of HR professionals do not support the strike, according to
Personneltoday.com’s barometer poll.

Of
the 252 votes, 160 were against the industrial action.

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