Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

November 04, 2009 11:37 ET

Fire Brigades Union Call Off Strike Action After Fire Authority Accept Offer Made at Talks Today

SOUTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Nov. 4, 2009) - South Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union has called off this evening's scheduled strike after breakthrough talks with the fire service this afternoon. As a gesture of goodwill the union had already agreed to delay the start of the strike to 6pm to allow fire service managers to consult the fire authority.

Central to the deal is the fire authority withdrawing the threat to sack firefighters to force through changes. The strings attached have now been dropped.

The fire authority has also agreed to immediately involve ACAS. It had previously agreed to their involvement, but only at a later date.

There has been a cessation of all current industrial action.

Today's offer from the union included a proposal to move to 10 hour day shifts and 14 hour night shifts, which would have less of an impact on working parents and carers. The fire authority would still, however, be able to put their own shift proposals to outside parties trying to assist.

The union would accept the employer's offer to declare the use of mass dismissal to force through new contracts 'null and void' if unacceptable strings were dropped. The union could immediately call a cessation to all industrial action currently taking place if the fire authority made such a move.

The union dismissed last week's offer because of the other obstacles the fire service put in the way of agreement.

Ian Murray, FBU regional secretary said: "South Yorkshire fire and rescue service has agreed to the offer we made to them this afternoon. They have now removed the strings attached to the offer they made last week.

"The union pushed very hard to get them to the talks today and that has paid off. There is a cessation of all industrial action, which will be finalised when ACAS terms of reference have been agreed by both sides.

"South Yorkshire firefighters would like to thank the public for their unswerving support and understanding. We also pay tribute to those local MPs and others who were encouraging the steps which have now been taken by the fire authority."

An emergency meeting of South Yorkshire fire crews is scheduled to take place tonight at 6pm at Wortley Hall.

Contact Information

  • Regional and local media contacts:
    Ian Murray
    07967 103345