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FBU calls out high salaries as firefighters use foodbanks


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The Fire Brigades Union has released new data showing disparity between fire bosses on six figure sums and firefighters forced to foodbanks.

Chief fire officers are paid an average pay of £148,000, with the highest being £206,000 – over six times more than an ordinary firefighter. A competent wholetime firefighter is paid £32,244.

Meanwhile, firefighters and control staff working under senior management are being forced into a ballot for industrial action. Firefighters and control staff have rejected a 5% offer, with inflation currently at 10.7%. This most recent pay offer, a ‘real terms pay cut’, has led to a ballot for strike action.

After a decade of below or at-inflation pay settlements, the Fire Brigades Union has had reports of firefighters and control staff being forced to foodbanks and struggling to pay their bills.

The news comes against a background of fire bosses undertaking a number of activities on the pay dispute including meetings and written communications to FBU members.

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, commenting on the findings, said: “Firefighters and control staff are facing yet another real terms pay cut while fire chiefs rake in huge salaries. FBU members are increasingly facing real ‘In Work’ poverty, with firefighters having to rely on foodbanks and take on additional jobs to afford the basics.

“At the same time, some fire chiefs are also trying to persuade firefighters and control staff to step back from industrial action, to simply shut up about salaries that are several times smaller than their bosses.

“It’s insulting and stinks of hypocrisy of some chief officers who refuse to make the case for better pay for their workers. Chief fire officers are not worth six times more than firefighters, it was the latter who were called key workers during the pandemic delivering vital services including moving the bodies of the deceased. Firefighters and control staff are being left with no other choice but to take action.”

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