HC Deb 18 December 1973 vol 866 cc1136-7
23. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the outstanding terms of the settlement of the Glasgow firemen's dispute have yet been notified to the Pay Board; and when he expects that body to come to a conclusion on the compatibility or otherwise of that settlement with the current pay code.

The Minister of State, Department of Employment (Mr. R. Chichester-Clark)

A settlement by the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Fire Brigades for the whole of Great Britain was approved by the Pay Board on 14th December with the exception of one small item relating to unsocial hours premia which the board is discussing further with the NJC. In addition, I am informed that employers and firemen in Glasgow have reached agreement about payments to cover travel expenses but that the Pay Board has not so far been notified.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

I am grateful for that reply. Am I to understand from it that it is the view of the Pay Board that the settlement negotiated with the Glasgow firemen was in conformity with the pay code? If so, can my hon. Friend tell us what is the Government's estimate of the increase in earnings resulting from the settlement?

Mr. Chichester-Clark

As I explained in my first answer, there are a few points which remain to be settled. It is not for me at this point to go into the details of what the amount will be.

Mr. Skinner

In view of the state of confusion about this pay award, will the hon. Gentleman take all the factors into account and remind his right hon. Friend that when he meets the miners on Thursday perhaps a settlement broadly along the lines of the Glasgow settlement might solve the miners' dispute?

Mr. Chichester-Clark

I have already said that the Glasgow settlement is a matter for the Pay Board. As for the rest of the hon. Gentleman's question, no doubt he will deploy his own individualistic views in the two-day debate which is to follow.