FBU officials hope David Johnson’s return might break the strike deadlock

Photo courtesy FBU

Photo courtesy FBU

FBU officials hope the return to work today of Essex’s chief fire officer might break the strike deadlock.

Boss David Johnson is set to return to duty following a period of absence. He will find 999 controllers taking their second of eight strike days over imposed shift changes which have resulted in some emergency control operators having to leave their jobs or drastically reduce their hours and pay, with many more considering their future with the service.

Alan Chinn-Shaw, secretary of the FBU in Essex, said: “The chief fire officer’s return is an opportunity for a fresh pair of eyes to look at the serious problems in the emergency fire control room.

“He should also lend a sympathetic ear to the genuine concerns of his professional control staff who are finding the new shift system intolerable. We are hopeful the chief’s return could provide the catalyst for meaningful negotiations.”

“The picket line was strong all day yesterday and the response from the public has been fantastic. No one here wants to be on strike but senior managers have forced this action with their intransigent approach and refusal to negotiate. They need to come to the negotiating table to resolve this dispute.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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