FBU: It’s a start

HeadLine: FBU: IT’S A START

The Mirror, 04/02/2003, p4
by SHAUN MILNE

SCOTLAND’S firefighters last night scrapped all future strike action
after taking a dramatic step towards settling their pay dispute.
Firefighter’s leader Andy Gilchrist, employers and TUC leaders were
locked in eleventh hour talks with deputy prime Minister John Prescott.
It is the first time they have all sat around the same table since the
dispute started last year.
Mr Gilchrist said: “We believe negotiations could commence.”
A massive divide still remains to be bridged.
The FBU insists it is still fighting for a 40 per cent pay increase.
But the Government is sticking to its figure of 11 per cent over two
years, paid for through radical changes to shift patterns and working
conditions.
It is widely thought that a figure closer to 16 per cent, linked to
some modernisation, could end the crisis.
An official announcement is expected to be made today.
The FBU claims that the cost of the dispute has now reached £90milion.
That would have been enough for a 16 per cent pay rise over two years –
equivalent to the deal scuppered by the Government before Christmas.

**

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Categories: Daily Mirror articles

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