Clarity still lacking in modernisation agenda: despite the real anger among firefighters and emergency fire control staff about the national employers' eleventh hour announcement that they planned to stagger the Stage 2 pay-out, the consultative ballot result came in late November with a 3:1 vote in favour, reports the FBU General Secretary.(Comment)

Everybody keen on pushing ahead with change in the Service ought to be heaving a collective sigh of relief. For let us not kid ourselves, this stupid and unexpected provocation by the national employers nearly buried the pay agreement.

Coming on top of Royal Assent for the draconian and--in anyone's books--utterly unnecessary Fire Services Bill, it provided yet further ammunition to those seeking to tear the whole thing up.

The upshot of the ballot result is that the NJC has agreed the position statement on the implementation of the pay agreement. And, short of any more foolishness in the remaining stages of the pay deal from employers, we can now all get on with the modernisation agenda, ensuring it produces a Service that is even better at protecting the public in these dangerous new times. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.