New shift patterns for firefighters suggested
London Fire Authority tonight welcomed moves aimed at resolving a bitter row over shift patterns which has led to two strikes.
An advisory panel put forward recommendations on shift times which will have to be accepted by both sides before the dispute is resolved.
Firefighters in the capital currently work a day shift of nine hours and a night shift of 15 hours, but the brigade said it wanted both shifts to be 12 hours, although later suggested 11 and 13 hours.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) staged two eight hour strikes, and only called off a planned walkout on Bonfire Night at the last minute, saying all its members in London faced the sack if they did not agree to new shifts.
The panel, chaired by Professor William Brown, made two suggestions on shift times, an 11 hour day shift and 13 hour night shift or a 10.5 hour day and 13.5 hour night shift.
"I believe that there is a case for contractual change. But because it is a contractual change I further believe that in this instance employees should be consulted by the union through a robust mechanism on which of the two options is the most preferable," said Professor Brown.
Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: "I strongly welcome the proposals and we are considering the detail to work out which is most advantageous for us. When that work is completed we will be putting that recommendation to the authority."
Ron Dobson, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said: "I am pleased that the independent chairperson of the panel has supported my view that there is a case for contractual change and the two recommendations put forward by Professor Brown now give the FBU the opportunity to put both to their members to decide which one of these options they would prefer."
Union leaders were meeting tonight to decide their response to the panel's report.
The panel also largely accepted a proposal by the authority on so-called direct standbys, under which firefighters can be told to go to another fire station other than their own to fill a gap if someone is sick.
At present this happens when firefighters arrive at their own station, but the brigade said time would be saved if they could make arrangements the night before.
Managers said that instead of spending time driving to another station, firefighters would arrive on time, allowing fire engines to be ready to take calls much quicker when shifts are changed.
Professor Brown recommended that the authority's proposals should apply, although within a distance of 7.5 miles.
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...