Firefighters’ union accepts compromise deal over night work

The
threat of strike action by firefighters receded today when union leaders
accepted a compromise deal over night duties.

Firefighters
around the country will be consulted on the new agreement before the Fire
Brigades Union (FBU) executive meets to consider endorsing it next Wednesday.

The
new proposal allows night-duty firefighters to have ‘rest periods’ between
midnight and 7am when they are not responding to emergency calls or carrying
out ‘essential activities’.

The
Fire Service had initially wanted workers to carry out more duties during their
night roster. But the FBU threatened a strike ballot if the demand was not
removed from the current pay and conditions negotiations.

The
union rejected the wording of a watered-down deal put forward earlier this week,
but employers accepted a counter-proposal yesterday.

Firefighters
will be required to carry out emergency work and other duties that can only be
done at night. Staff may also have to carry out ‘risk management’ work.

The
FBU said the new agreement preserved its wish for ‘stand down’ time, which
allowed firefighters to concentrate mainly on providing emergency services at
night.

By
Paul Yandall

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