Guernsey Airport firefighters' pay dispute goes to arbitration

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Talks are due to be held in April to try to resolve a further pay dispute between the States of Guernsey and airport firefighters.

In 2009, failure to reach an agreement led to a strike by firefighters that caused the airport to close.

Unite union has asked for a 3.5% cost of living rise, while the States has called for a pay freeze.

The issue will now go to independent arbitration with the outcome binding on both sides.

After the strikes in May 2009, the agreed pay and conditions, signed in 2010, included a five-year no-strike cause.

Bob Lanning, the regional officer of the union, said: "To me, having that clause in their contract justifies even more so why they should receive a cost of living pay award."

He said he saw the right to industrial action as a basic human right.

A spokesman for the Policy Council, which is responsible for all States employees, said it did not wish to comment on the dispute.

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