Final call for firefighters to cast vote in FBU pay ballot


Share this content


The UK’s Fire Brigades Union pay ballot is set to conclude on Monday 30 January. Results from the ballot are expected late that afternoon. If firefighters vote for strike action, the UK will see its first nation-wide fire strike on pay since 2003. 

The ballot is a result of firefighters having experienced a 12% drop in real terms earnings since 2010 at around £4,000 a year on average. In the same period, around one in five firefighter jobs have been cut.  

FBU members have already rejected a below-inflation 5% pay offer in November last year, and the union opened its formal strike ballot on 5  December. 

Because of anti-strike legislation, the ballot will only give a mandate for strike action if more than 50% of the FBU’s approximately 30,000 members vote in it.   Polling shows that public support for strike action by firefighters is strong – around 2 to 1. 58% of the public back action, while only 33% oppose it.  

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “Firefighters have faced a sustained attack on pay for more than a decade, with average pay falling by about £4,000 in real terms.   

“Our members face hazardous situations every day, and sometimes risk their health to do the job. Facing double-digit inflation and rocketing energy bills, they are now being told to put up with an even bigger real terms pay cut. Meanwhile, the UK is home to record number of billionaires.  

“People join the fire service because they want to help people and serve their community. We have been pushed to the point of balloting by a government that is refusing to listen.

“On Monday, we will learn our members’ verdict on this derisory pay offer.” 

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox