Hundreds sign petition against maximum 48-hour working week
PUBLISHED: 11:51 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 23:18 15 June 2010
TOWN councillors in Seaton are fighting against a maximum 48 hour working week, which could be imposed by the European Union.
TOWN councillors in Seaton are fighting against a maximum 48 hour working week, which could be imposed by the European Union.Members of the European Parliament say the opt-out clause must end three years after adoption of the directive and on-call time should count as working time.But councillors Peter Burrows and Mark Fisher fear it will be impractical for professions such as retained firefighters, police, NHS staff and other public services.Hundreds of signatures have already been collected in town since a petition was launched two weeks ago.Cllr Peter Burrows said: "I support the petition to allow the opt-out for retained fire-fighters as the alternative could be disastrous. "If we have to have full time fire-fighters it would lead to a greater cost - which would lead to cutbacks which might involve station closures and a longer response time."Retained fire-fighters are dedicated people who want to help their community and we should support them."Cllr Fisher added: "This directive is not practical and we can't have a blanket rule like that. It can't possibly work.