Fire service employers and the Government have appealed to
the Fire Brigades Union to call off ballot action as the possibility of the
first firefighters’ strike in 25 years looms.
Last week, the union agreed to ballot members over the next
few weeks in support of its 40 per cent pay increase claim. But Nick Raynsford,
minister responsible for the fire service, has urged the union to co-operate
with the Government’s plans to address the pay demand through an independent
review of the fire service. "It [the independent review] is an alternative
to what would be an unnecessary and deeply damaging dispute that could put
people’s lives at risk," he said.