Essex fire talks resume as axe hovers over fire crews at Colchester, Leigh, Chelmsford, Harlow, Basildon and Grays
Talks aimed at resolving the Essex fire dispute resume today. The fire authority plans to press ahead with the first set of cuts on 1st October.
The Fire Brigades Union has asked for the cuts to be halted while talks take place. Industrial action consisting of an overtime ban and refusing to perform other voluntary duties continues and has been solidly supported since it commenced on 26th August 2009.
Paul Adams, Essex FBU Secretary said:
“This is the last and best opportunity to resolve the dispute before any cuts are put in place. We have to turn our disagreements into agreements and resolve our differences.
“Agreement will become even more difficult if the cuts are implemented on 1st October. The trenches will get deeper and the temperature of the dispute will rise.
“The fire authority’s claim that no frontline cuts are happening will be nailed as nonsense if they press ahead. They won’t be able to hide what they are doing or pretend it isn’t happening.
“The first wave of frontline cuts take place in Colchester, Leigh, Chelmsford, Harlow and then at Basildon or Grays. There will be too few firefighters to crew all of the County’s specialist high-reach and rescue vehicles at these fire stations.
“On October 1st the smoke and mirrors to hide cuts will be blown away. We have asked the fire authority to put these cuts on hold while the talks take place.”