are set to start voting on whether to launch a series of fresh strikes
following the collapse of long-running pay talks.
than 50,000 members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) are to be sent ballot
papers, raising the threat of a walkout early next month.
union claimed that local authority employers had turned a "shambles into a
crisis" after a deal to pay firefighters a 3.5 per cent rise from November
2003 and another 4.2 per cent from last month was scuppered at the last minute.
also want 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
union said it believed many fire authority employers were pressing for a
meeting to try to resolve the dispute.
ballot will run until 31 August and the result will be known soon afterwards.