Firefighters in Buckinghamshire will no longer be â€˜locked outâ€™ forÂ the duration of shiftsÂ this week after the Fire Brigades Union negotiated anÂ end to the local fire serviceâ€™sÂ policy.
Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service had announced thatÂ firefighters taking partÂ in this weekâ€™s industrial action over governmentÂ attacks on pensions would lose pay forÂ entire shifts rather than the two orÂ four hour periods in which strikes are taking placeÂ each day.
Buckinghamshire was the only fire and rescue service to make theÂ decision, and localÂ firefighters had said that the move â€œposed seriousÂ questions about public safety.â€
Ricky Matthews, who represents the FBUâ€™s southern region on theÂ unionâ€™s executiveÂ council, said: â€œThis is a victory for all firefighters inÂ Buckinghamshire and â€” mostÂ importantly â€” the communities we protect.
â€œThe climb down from the fire and rescue service came as a resultÂ of FBU members inÂ Buckinghamshire sticking together, and a special thank you mustÂ go to our retainedÂ members for staying strong: without their support it wouldÂ not have been possible toÂ achieve this fantastic result.
â€œFirefighters only take industrial action as a last resort and itÂ simply didnâ€™t make senseÂ for them to be penalised more than their colleagues inÂ other fire and rescue services.
â€œI hope that the government will meet with national officials ofÂ the Fire Brigades UnionÂ and settle matters quickly so that everyone can getÂ back to working normally.â€
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