Dumfries and Galloway fire service faces hefty pay cost

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Fire engine
Image caption,
The service has warned that it will have to use financial reserves to meet the compensation pay

Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service is facing a bill of up to £160,000 to meet compensation payments to its retained staff.

It follows a ruling by an employment tribunal on the terms and conditions of part-time firefighters.

The compensation payments were set on the back of two test cases lodged in England more than a decade ago.

DGFRS has warned it has no budget to meet the costs and will have to dip into its financial reserves.

The Fire Brigades Union argued that part-time staff were receiving less favourable terms and conditions than their full-time colleagues despite doing the same duties.

That stance was eventually upheld by an employment tribunal after a lengthy legal process which at one point reached the House of Lords.

A negotiated settlement between the employers and the union has now been agreed.

It will see compensation payments - backdated to July 2000 - made to all eligible retained staff.

In Dumfries and Galloway, it is estimated it will cost the fire and rescue service about £160,000.

However, a report to councillors said the brigade did not have the resources available to meet the costs.

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