Unofficial action by firefighters spreads across UK

An
unofficial dispute by firefighters prompted by a pay row involving crews in
Greater Manchester is spreading across the UK.

Crews
in a number of brigades are answering 999 calls only in response to the
suspension of 19 firefighters in Salford. The firefighters said they had not
received an agreed pay rise and refused to use new anti-terror equipment.

The
dispute has now spread to parts of Yorkshire, the West Midlands, Wiltshire,
Gloucester and Tayside.

Following
agreements made in June last year – the staged 16 per cent pay rise, which
settled the UK-wide dispute – fire crews were expecting to get a rise in
November.

However,
the Fire Brigades Union says the pay rise has still not been received and so it
has withdrawn from the agreement.

The
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which has responsibility for the fire
service, said discussions between the union and employers were continuing.

By Mike Berry

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