Firefighters suspend industrial action ballot

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A BALLOT for industrial action by firefighters in South Yorkshire has been suspended after union bosses and the fire service agreed to talks.

The Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) had given seven days’ notice of industrial action short of a strike.

It wants plans for cuts and changes to terms and conditions to be reversed.

The move comes after both parties agreed at a meeting to try to resolve the dispute at a joint secretaries arbitration.

“We welcome the invite from senior managers to take all our disputes to the joint secretaries, so we’re going ahead with that,” FBU brigade secretary John Gilliver said.

The FBU objects to a range of cost-cutting plans including the planned closure of four fire stations, a new shift system and plans to scrap the reserved crew at Edlington.

The fire service said the measures are all aimed at saving the fire service about £10m by 2015.

It is thought it will be a few weeks until the talks take place.