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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 17:47 GMT
No agreement in fire dispute
Pants pay banner
Strong feelings at a protest earlier this year
Firefighters' union leaders have expressed their disappointment after pay talks with management ended without agreement.

A number of Scotland's brigades joined colleagues elsewhere in the UK in working to rule on Tuesday, claiming employers had reneged on the pay deal which ended their long running industrial dispute earlier this year.

Firefighters are angry that they will not receive the full 7% increment of the pay rise they were supposed to get in November.

Employers have instead offered an initial 3.5% increase, with a further 3.5% rise backdated to 7 November, on condition that changes being made in the fire service are completed.

There is a lot of anger about at the moment and management are continuing to refuse to honour the agreement
John McDonald
FBU Scotland
That resulted in unofficial action which started on Monday night in the south east of England and gradually spread to other parts of the UK.

Firefighters from some Scottish brigades took part in the withdrawal of non-emergency service duties.

However, all were believed to be working normally on Wednesday, with bonfire night one of the service's busiest evenings of the year.

Private talks have been held between local authority employers and Andy Gilchrist, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, who will report back to his executive on Thursday.

FBU leaders could then decide to hold a fresh ballot on industrial action.

Speaking after the talks, John McDonald, FBU executive member for Scotland, said: "There is a lot of anger about at the moment and management are continuing to refuse to honour the agreement.

"The union executive will meet on Thursday to discuss what action can be taken."

He said it was likely there could be further wildcat action over the next few days.

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