Merseyside fire strike close to settlement

Following a formal offer from the Merseyside Fire Authority the Merseyside Fire Brigades Union has today called off the current period of strike action which started on Monday and was due to last for eight days. Firefighters and Emergency Control Room Staff will be returning to work at 1800 hours tonight (26th July) pending a final decision on the formal offer on Monday, 30 July.

Andy Gilchrist, FBU General Secretary said:

“Prior to this dispute our members had no confidence in the Chief Fire Officer, Malcolm Saunders. This dispute has only entrenched that position further. This man, with his bullying tactics has single handedly caused this dispute which could easily have spread to a national fire service strike.

“Following the intervention of the National Fire Service Employers, the Merseyside Fire Authority has been forced to make this offer which I hope will resolve this dispute. The Merseyside Fire Authority now has to consider how it will ensure that Malcolm Saunders is unable to create this situation again.”

Les Skarratts, Merseyside FBU Brigade Secretary said:

“The Merseyside Brigade Committee is recommending that our members accept this offer to end the dispute. We will be returning to work tonight at 1800 hours to maintain public safety whilst we consult our members, and we will be making a final decision on the offer at a Brigade Committee meeting on Monday.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public of Merseyside for the fantastic support we have received during this dispute which was totally underestimated by the Chief Fire Officer and the Merseyside Fire Authority at the start of the dispute. We will not forget this support.”

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