The year-long firefighters’ dispute in Essex has ended – but with a bad deal.
A majority of FBU reps from the area’s fire stations voted to allow officials to sign up to a compromise deal and end an eight-month overtime ban in the brigade.
Essex FBU secretary Keith Flynn explains, “On the downside, the deal confirms the cut of 44 firefighters.”
But that is what the whole dispute was about.
The deal is supposed to include “protections” against future cuts.
But chief fire officer David Johnson, says, “It would be duplicitous of us to suggest we can deliver any absolute guarantees, because of the uncertainty surrounding public sector cuts.”
This shows the risks of what can happen when brigades are left to fight cuts one by one. We need a national fight in the fire service—over cuts, shift changes and pay.