Firefighter dispute talks stall despite progress

Talks
to avert the first firefighters’ strike for 25 years have "stalled",
union leaders say.

Fire
Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Andy Gilchrist said local authority
employers have still not come up with an acceptable pay offer.

He
said a 48-hour strike due to start at next Wednesday will go ahead unless a
proposal worth putting to his members was made.

However
Gilchrist said "considerable progress" had been made on some of the
issues being negotiated, including a new pay formula and equality for retained
firefighters and control room staff.

A
further meeting will take place earlier next week.

By Quentin Reade

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