Fire Brigades Union recalls National Executive Council over Merseyside dispute

The Fire Brigades Union National Executive has been recalled to a meeting in Liverpool on Tuesday 24 July to discuss the current fire dispute in Merseyside. The dispute is over the Fire Authority’s refusal to adhere to decisions of the Fire Service National Disputes Panel and therefore has clear ramifications to the rest of the National Fire Service.

Andy Gilchrist, FBU General Secretary said: “I have recalled the FBU National Executive Council to a meeting at the Atlantic Thistle Hotel, Liverpool, on Tuesday 24 July. A serious potential weakness of the disputes procedure has been highlighted by the current fire dispute in Merseyside, such that there are massive national implications for the Fire Service.

“We agreed a national procedure for dealing with disputes just six months ago, following two years of industrial unrest in the Fire Service.

“A new procedure was agreed with the specific aim of ending the need for FBU members to take strike action.

“Unfortunately the Merseyside Chief Fire Officer, Malcolm Saunders and the Merseyside Fire Authority are trying to totally undermine this new procedure.

“Fire Service Employers elsewhere have offered nothing to secure compliance and this highlights a fundamental weakness inherent in the new procedure.

“The Fire Brigades Union therefore has to consider the implications of their actions and the effect on us as a national Union and respond accordingly.”

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