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Mediation May Resolve Fire Contact Negotiations

Mediation Could Help Resolve Remaining Issues In Fire Service Contract Negotiations

The Minister of Internal Affairs Mark Burton says he is pleased that there has been some progress in the long-running firefighters contract dispute and he is now encouraging the parties to resolve the remaining issues through the use of mediation.

After their meetings last month with the Minister, both the Fire Service Commission and the Professional Firefighters Union asked for feedback from Mark Burton.

"I have written to both the Commission and the Union and I have acknowledged the progress that has been made," Mark Burton said.

"This contract has been under dispute for more than 5 years. One year ago, the two sides weren't even in the same room. Through encouragement and goodwill, the parties have come together for a series of useful meetings. Clearly, some positive outcomes have resulted.

"A number of issues have been resolved, while questions over pay and hours remain. As an option for resolving these outstanding issues, I have suggested that the negotiating parties now seriously consider the option of mediation.

"I have again stressed that, by law, I am not a party to the negotiations. When asked, I am certainly willing to offer feedback and advice, and to clarify the Government's policy. But I am not permitted to directly intervene.

"As the negotiations are now at a crucial point, the Commission and the Union must carefully consider how they intend to proceed. Given that I am not involved in the negotiations, it would not be appropriate for me to make any further comment at this time," Mark Burton said.


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