Looking forward, not back: this month, CACFOA President Jeff Ord, welcoming the end of the dispute, calls on Government to push forward IPDS, the White Paper and urges all in the Service to pull together in modernising the Service. (Comment).

The decision of the Fire Brigades Union to d the long-running dispute over their pay claim is welcome news for everyone involved with the Fire Service. The obvious temptation now is for the post-mortem to take place to identify how so much damage could have occurred both within and outside the Service, especially in terms of public opinion. To dwell on this will simply cause further damage and delay the recovery period which is so vital to the future of the Service as we know it.

Several matters need to be addressed urgently and almost simultaneously. They are:

* The White Paper on the Service needs to be launched thereby enabling more flesh and understanding to be placed upon the NJC's Heads of Agreement;

* The Employer Working Groups on issues such as specialist skills' payments needs to be concluded and promulgated as soon as possible; and

* Any further slippage on integrated personal development systems would be damaging to the Service and CACFOA urges the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to sustain and, if necessary, improve the recent resource support to this vital area of modernisation and improved diversity. …

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