Fire service employers are refusing to change the 16 per cent pay deal they have tabled, as more attempts are made to end the long-running dispute over pay and modernisation.
Frank Burchill, independent chairman of the fire service's negotiating body, is attempting to broker an agreement between the employer and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
He said the differences between the two sides was "far less" than they recognise.
But the employers claim that the current offer is the only way to deliver the savings needed to finance a 16 per cent pay increase, taking basic minimum pay to £25,000 a year.
The FBU will hold a recall national conference next week to consider its next move.