South Yorkshire fire chiefs sign deal new contingency team during strike action

Firefighters during strike action in Sheffield

Firefighters during strike action in Sheffield

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Fire chiefs have signed a new deal to create a contingency team to cover possible strike action by firefighters.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has signed a deal with Securitas to recruit and train firefighters to stand-in during any industrial action.

Fire chiefs are developing a system similar to the Army Reserve Model, at a cost of £121,130 over the next year.

In a report to the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority said Securitas will recruit more staff for the contingency team, including officers-in-charge for eight fire engines.

It said: "Failure to deliver a functional emergency response service during a period of industrial action could result in intervention action being undertaken by Government.

"Failure to provide any firefighter resources could have significant reputational risk should the other Metropolitan Fire Services be successful in their deployment of contingency arrangements during periods of industrial action."

The report also reveals that any dispute could cost an additional £126,856.

Under the new contract with Securitas, which started in December, a 24-hour walkout will cost £19,936, a four day walkout will cost £73,396.80 and £126,856 for a week of industrial action.

The threat of possible strike action in the row over job cuts with the Fire Brigades Union is ongoing until at least April, unless an agreement is reached.

The report will be discussed by the Fire Authority on January 16.