BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 06:08 GMT 07:08 UK
Pay claim will 'open floodgates'
Firefighters protesting in London in September
Firefighters are demanding a 40% pay rise
Fire-fighters demands for a 40% pay rise will open the floodgates and lead to big tax rises, say their employers.

The Local Government Association issued the warning ahead of the result of the Fire Brigade Union's strike ballot on Friday.

More than 50,000 fire-fighters are being asked to vote on whether to stage their first national strike for 25 years.


If all public service workers got the rise fire workers are looking for that would mean a dramatic increase in income tax

John Ransford, LGA
The Fire Brigades' Union is seeking a 40% pay rise, which would see salaries for fully qualified fire-fighters rise to about 30,000.

Employers are offering 4% as an interim deal, plus whatever an independent government review recommends should be linked to new ways of working.

If union members reject the deal, strike action could begin by the end of October.

Tax hike

But John Ransford of the LGA said agreeing to a 40% pay rise would seriously damage the country.

"If all public service workers got the rise fire workers are looking for that would mean a dramatic increase in income tax something like 4p on the basic rate," he told the BBC.

The government launched a review into the pay and conditions of fire-fighters in an attempt to stop industrial action.

However, the FBU has attacked the review.

Its general secretary Andy Gilchrist called on the government to "stop dithering about" and to sort out firemen's pay.

"I find it incomprehensible that a Labour government can walk almost blindfolded into only the second national strike in our history," he said.

Nick Raynsford, the government minister responsible for the fire service, called for a "sensible conclusion".

He warned that industrial action could put lives at risk.

Industrial action is being opposed by the Retained Fire-fighters Union (RFU), which represents thousands of part-time professional fire-fighters.

Retained fire-fighters serve more rural areas which do not have their own full-time manned station.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Rory Cellan Jones reports
"Firefighters seem convinced that the government isn't listening"

Key stories

Features and analysis

How they compare

In pictures

CLICKABLE GUIDE

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

27 Sep 02 | England
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes