Threatened firefighter strike “not wise or mature” says LGA

National
fire service employers have condemned today’s decision at the FBU’s Southport
conference to ballot for industrial action.

The
Local Government Association (LGA) said the two sides were on the verge of an
agreement. Had the deal been sealed, they say, it would have immediately
released the outstanding 3.5 per cent pay rise, backdated to November 2003,
into firefighters’ pay packets.

Christina
Jebb, LGA representative who chairs the employers’ side in the national
negotiations with the FBU, said the nature of the stumbling block in the proposed
wording pertaining to working at night and on public holidays remained unclear. 

"We
were so close and firefighters must be questioning how we can move from near
agreement to a ballot for industrial action,” she said. “A ballot for
industrial action is not a wise or mature course for the union to follow”. 

“We
urge firefighters to show their disapproval of this ill-considered decision and
vote against industrial action in the ballot,” Jebb said. 

By Michael
Millar

For
more on the potential strike go to: http://www.personneltoday.com/goto/24233

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