Firefighters vote to put strikes on hold

PUBLISHED: 17:04 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 14:45 12 May 2010

FIREFIGHTERS have called off strike action in the light of further proposals from Hertfordshire County Council. A meeting of representatives from fire stations across the county produced a vote of 328 (58 per cent) to 241 (42 per cent) to put strike actio

FIREFIGHTERS have called off strike action in the light of further proposals from Hertfordshire County Council.

A meeting of representatives from fire stations across the county produced a vote of 328 (58 per cent) to 241 (42 per cent) to put strike action on hold until proposals could be put into a formal agreement.

Following further talks between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the county council, a collective agreement is almost complete.

If satisfied with the final agreement, the FBU committee will sign it on Monday to end the strike action.

The dispute was over proposals in a Community Safety Plan which saw changes to the work pattern of firefighters across the county.

Ben Read, FBU member based at Royston fire station, said: "The agreement seems reasonable and it's likely members will accept it.

It's highly unlikely we will go on more strikes.

"I'm glad the dispute is nearly over but disappointed the Radlett and Bovingdon fire stations have been closed. So the fight goes on to save them and get Royston back up to 12 full-time firefighters."

Cllr David Lloyd, the Cabinet member who has led the county council's negotiations, said: "It's been a difficult time for all involved and I appreciate the work of the union in resolving matters with us.

"We've all come a long way. Now is the time to move forward together and build on our shared objective of making Hertfordshire as safe as possible.

"A number of concessions have been made on both sides, which is a sign of genuine, mature negotiations."

A rally is planned at the end of the month for firefighters to voice their disappointment about fire station closures.

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