Suffolk fire authority has conceded talks with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) after a further round of solid strike action against cuts last week.
The authority had refused to hold meaningful negotiations for four weeks. “There is no doubt that the action taken in Suffolk has forced them to the negotiating table,” says East Anglia FBU secretary Graham Noakes.
“The threat of escalating action exposed how the authority is not able to provide adequate cover on strike days.”
Firefighters and control room operators in Suffolk have been battling against 12 job cuts as part of a new local fire safety plan of the kind being drawn up everywhere following the government scrapping national standards of cover.
A strike that is scheduled for 3 October is still on if talks fail.
Local officials and representatives are determined not to call off planned action just for the promise of talks, which happened repeatedly in the national firefighters’ pay fight three years ago.