and firefighters‘ union leaders are set to meet for
fresh pay talks, hoping to avert the threat of a national strike next month.
Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said it was "cautiously optimistic" that a
deal could now be done, after negotiations broke down earlier this month.
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.
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.
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