Essex Fire Dispute Ends
ESSEX, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Oct. 24, 2012) - The long-running industrial dispute in Essex fire and rescue service has been brought to an end following months of detailed negotiations.
Fire crews voted 2 to 1 to accept the settlement terms negotiated and recommended by their union leaders.
Keith Handscomb, FBU executive council member: "This has been a very bitter and the longest running dispute in fire service history. Negotiators from both sides deserve credit for overcoming deeply held differences to negotiate the compromise terms needed to settle the dispute and to lay the foundations for rebuilding industrial relations."
"The challenges ahead are huge as the fire and rescue service faces the most severe cuts ever in central government funding."
"The union and frontline firefighters in Essex continue to hold serious concerns over the reduction of the wholetime fire crews at Canvey Island and Brentwood and as a consequence the speed and weight of 999 response to emergencies. But, the negotiated settlement includes written assurances from the chief fire officer to maintain the overall numbers of wholetime firefighters across Essex up to March 2015 and beyond, subject to central government funding being no worse than already projected."
"The settlement also includes new terms and allowances underpinned by agreements on a detailed framework for improving industrial relations going forward. It's early days but, bit by bit, relations are starting to get better and so it is now up to both sides to take this opportunity to work together in facing the considerable challenges that lie ahead."
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