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Fire Brigades Union gives formal notice of strike ballot


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The Fire Brigades Union has formally issued notice of ballot after pay discussions ‘failed to reach any resolution’.  Firefighters and control staff have been offered a 5% pay increase, which they rejected in a consultative ballot as annual CPI inflation currently stands at 11.1%, meaning the offer reflects a real-terms pay cut.  

The strike ballot is set to be open from Monday 5 December to Monday 30 January. The ballot will take place only through the post. 

FBU said that any member who believe their postal address has changed or think it might be wrong, to contact membership services. 

If a national strike were to take place, it would be the first national strike since pension action between 2013 and 2015 (which did not include control), and the first on pay since 2002-2003. 

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said:  “This is an historic ballot for firefighters and control staff. We are rarely driven to these lengths. Nobody wants to be in this position. But after years of derisory pay increases and a pay offer that is well below inflation firefighters’ and control staff’s living standards are in peril. We have firefighters using foodbanks – we know that because FBU officials have had to sign off on members going to them. “

Firefighters and control staff worked throughout the pandemic and firefighters took on extra duties including moving the deceased. They have now been given a below-inflation pay offer.  It is utterly disgraceful to call people “key workers” and then treat them like this.

“Strike action is always a last resort, but we are left with no other option. We asked for a pay increase that takes into account the cost of living crisis and did not receive it. The ball is still in the employers’ and government’s court. We urge them to provide a decent pay offer and help bring this dispute to an end.”

Whilst UK governments have no direct role in pay negotiations they provide a substantial amount of the funding for fire and rescue services. 

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