Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

September 20, 2011 07:08 ET

Union Tries to Break Deadlock in Long-Running Dispute Over Essex Fire Cuts

ESSEX, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Sept. 20, 2011) - The Fire Brigades Union in Essex have called for third party assistance to try and break the deadlock in the long-running dispute over frontline cuts after Essex fire chiefs walked away from talks. The FBU say it is their measured response to the inflammatory and insulting remarks made by senior managers last week.

Mick Rogers, FBU Essex Brigade Secretary:
"Once again a few senior managers have shown a crude and inept attitude to modern industrial relations. Just when it seems a settlement may be possible, they have broken away from talks and reverted back to slinging insults and megaphone diplomacy. It seems one or more of the managers involved are determined to scupper any chance of ever reaching a negotiated settlement.

"We remain committed to finding a negotiated settlement and so we have written directly to the elected members of the Fire Authority seeking their agreement to call in the NJC Joint Secretaries for fire & rescue services to facilitate talks.

"The Joint Secretaries have a very successful track record in brokering settlements in local fire and rescue service disputes and so, given the deadlock in Essex, it makes absolute common-sense for us to call them in now. We can't think of any good reason why the Fire Authority would refuse our request. Quite simply, neither side has anything to lose by giving the Joint Secretaries a chance to broker a deal.

"We remain optimistic a settlement can be brokered because unlike most fire brigades across the country, Essex Fire & Rescue actually received an increase in Government funding for the period 2011-2013 rather than the £7.5 m cut fire chiefs were predicting. That's why the cuts being implemented are premature and the scale of the cuts are wholly unnecessary.

"There's a window of opportunity. Both sides can agree to third party assistance or inevitably both sides can accept that the dispute will continue."

Contact Information

  • Mick Rogers

    Nick Mayes