Employers playing political games: the employers' decision to phase payment of stage 2 of the June pay and conditions agreement came as an 'unpleasant shock to the system' for FBU members. The General Secretary argues that this was singularly a move from the employers, with both the Audity Commission and ODPM remaining non-commital.(Comment)

As readers will know the agreement at stage 2 was for an average seven per cent on wholetime firefighters' pay from November 7, 2003 with additional payments to control room staff and retained members. All this was subject to progress being made on the reform programme with the Audit Commission as the monitoring agency for this.

The implementation of the agreement involves a complex set of negotiations particularly as we move from a rank-based to a role-based salary structure. But, as even the employers acknowledge, considerable progress has been made in all aspects of the negotiations and the union fully expected that this progress would be reflected by the payment in full of the seven per cent sometime before Christmas. …

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