Fire Services

Question Time — Scottish Executive – in the Scottish Parliament at 9:31 am on 2nd July 1999.

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Photo of Lloyd Quinan Lloyd Quinan Scottish National Party 9:31 am, 2nd July 1999

To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it intends to take to provide fire services in the event of industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union. (S1O-184)

Photo of Angus MacKay Angus MacKay Labour

Statutory responsibility for the provision of fire services rests with the fire authorities. Negotiations on conditions of service are continuing with no indication that industrial action is imminent. However, we will keep matters under review.

Photo of Lloyd Quinan Lloyd Quinan Scottish National Party

Is the deputy minister aware that the Scottish region of the Fire Brigades Union agrees with the national motion that was passed that if the conditions of service are changed-something that it fully expects to happen-there will be national industrial action? The union believes that the Government and the Executive are sleepwalking towards a national fire brigade strike.

Photo of Angus MacKay Angus MacKay Labour

The original proposals for changes to terms and conditions have been whittled down to seven points; those will be discussed at two further meetings that are to take place at the national joint council for local government services. The employers have made it clear that they do not intend to impose changes to pay and conditions. Negotiations should, therefore, continue without a breakdown in relations.