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Bucks firefighters agree to national emergency strike plan
A DISPUTE between Bucks Fire and Rescue and union chiefs over plans for tomorrow’s strike has been resolved, with firefighters finally signing up for a national contingency plan.
Bucks Fire and Rescue had previously failed to agree to a national arrangement that allows striking firefighters to return to work in the event of a large-scale emergency such as a terrorist attack.
Yesterday, a Fire Brigade Union chief said he was “extremely” concerned about the decision, which would mean the region being without most of its firefighters for much longer than the agreed four hours on Wednesday.
But the dispute has been brought to an end less than 24 hours before strike action is due to start after agreement was reached for crews to volunteer to return to work.
Striking firefighters will also man the morning and evening shifts either side of the four-hour walkout from 12 until 4pm.
The strike period will be covered by a limited number of non-union members and firefighters who have decided not to join the walkout.
Jason Thelwell, Chief Operating Officer for Bucks Fire and Rescue, said: "Staff and managers have been talking through a number of issues today.
"As a result we have reached a significant agreement to help protect the public.
"Firefighters who are on strike have agreed to volunteer to return to work in the event of a major incident, and will be on duty from 9am to 12 noon and 4pm to 6pm.
“We are confident that our business continuity plan for the whole day has enough capacity to allow us to deliver a safe level of cover across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.
"Once again, we would like to encourage people to extra care and stay safe to avoid having to make a 999 call.”
The nationwide strike has been called over pension proposals from central government.
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