Fire Authority withdraws controversial letter after angry reaction from staff

The Fire Brigades Union had claimed there were plans to sack every one of Greater Manchester's firefighters, and only re-employ those who agree to a new contract.

The area's fire service, which has around 1250 frontline firefighters, says it has to save £14 million

But today Councillor David Acton, Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, said had agreed to withdraw the Section 188 letter issued to the FBU.

Credit: ITV NEWS

“I have taken this step in order to facilitate talks through the Independent Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) on Thursday, September 29, 2016.

“The FBU has confirmed that it will participate fully in the TAP and both parties are entering the talks constructively. This is a welcome move that will allow both parties to engage in discussions about our SDS proposals without the threat of action by either party.

“The TAP will publish its report within 14 days. We must not forget that these changes have been proposed because of continuing cuts by the Government and the Government has imposed a further cut of £14.4m over the next four years.

“Both GMFRA and the FBU are committed to ensuring the safety of the public.”

– Cllr David Acton

Gary Keary from the Fire Brigades Union said the last ten days have caused 'stress and anxiety' for the area's fire fighters.