UPDATE: NSW fire stations will no longer be selectively closed.It comes after the fire commissioner accepted a recommendation by the Industrial Relations Commissioner (IRC) to suspend the money-saving practice.
Initially, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) planned rolling closures of stations to save money in overtime as part of a government plan to reduce costs by 1.2 per cent per annum over the next four years.
But after only one day of closures, the IRC recommended the plan be suspended.
This was accepted by FRNSW commissioner Greg Mullins, who called on the FBEU to agree to other recommendations from the industrial watchdog, saying the stalemate between the union and FRNSW had already cost 70 per cent of the overtime budget.
"I now call on the Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) to ... lift its expensive industrial bans and come up with alternative savings proposals," Mr Mullins said in a statement.
He said cost-saving measures, which had previously been voted down by FEBU members, will be resubmitted for closer consideration.
The proposed shutdowns were met with fierce resistance from the FBEU, which was labelled hypocritical by Mr Mullins after industrial action closed four more fire stations than were scheduled.
Two stations were to be temporarily closed on Monday night but union action at four other posts resulted in six closures, he said.
"They're prepared to take every fire crew offline (through industrial action)," Mr Mullins said.
"Yet when when there's six offline - four of them due to industrial action - they claim it's the end of the world."
FBEU secretary Jim Casey defended the industrial action and said the union was not being disingenuous.
"To blame firefighters is to blame the victim," Mr Casey told reporters yesterday.
"It's not the fault of the firefighters. It's the fault of the O'Farrell government."
Earlier yesterday, the union accused the government of playing "Russian roulette" with community safety by going ahead with the temporary closures.
The FBEU and FRNSW will again appear before the IRC on December 4.