FBU calls for inquiry into industrial relations in Merseyside

Representatives of the Fire Brigades Union and the Merseyside Fire Authority met today with the Fire Service National Joint Secretaries in an attempt to resolve the recent disputes between the Merseyside Fire Brigades Union and the Merseyside Fire and Civil Defence Authority.

A dispute continues over the return to work agreement following the recent strikes by FBU members in Merseyside. The Fire Brigades Union firmly believes that the Fire Authority are in breach of this agreement.

Andy Gilchrist, FBU General Secretary said: “Today’s talks were not entirely fruitless in that both sides were able to express their positions in respect of the current problem with the return to work agreement. It is clear that there is still a fundamental disagreement between the two sides. The Fire Brigades Union firmly believes that a proposed discipline investigation into an FBU member has arisen directly out of the recent industrial dispute. The investigation is therefore in contravention of a specific paragraph in the return to work agreement.

“The current situation in Merseyside, where there are continual disputes, is not beneficial to our members, the Fire Authority or the public, therefore, on behalf of the Fire Brigades Union, I am inviting the Merseyside Fire Authority to discuss the setting up of a special inquiry into industrial relations in Merseyside in general.

“I believe that the Fire Authority would be wise to accept this offer in order to avoid future problems on industrial relations in Merseyside.”

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