Proposed pay rise for UK firefighters ‘utterly inadequate’ says FBU


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Firefighters and firefighter control staff have responded to a 2% pay offer from fire and rescue employers calling the proposed increase ‘utterly inadequate’. The Fire Brigades Union’s executive council is recommending rejection of the pay offer to members.

The 2% pay offer is against a current rate of inflation of 9.1% (CPI, year on year to May 2022). The fire service annual pay award is due on 1 July. The pay offer comes against a background of long-term pay cuts to firefighters’ pay. Between 2009 and 2021, firefighters’ real pay has been cut by 12%, or nearly £4,000.  

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: “The FBU has today received a proposal from our employers of a 2% increase in pay. This is utterly inadequate and would deliver a further cut in real wages to firefighters in all roles in the midst of the cost of living crisis.

“This latest insulting proposal follows 12 years of government-imposed reductions in real wages. This proposal will anger firefighters, those working in emergency fire controls, and those in in all uniformed roles in fire services across the UK. It is galling to be insulted in this way, especially after our contribution to public safety during the pandemic.

“Firefighters will now inevitably begin to discuss reactions, including industrial action. The Fire Brigades Union and our members do not consider or take industrial action lightly or without ensuring that all efforts to resolve the issue have been exhausted.

“To that end, we will be writing to the national fire employers to inform them of the anger and frustration their proposal will create. We will also seek confirmation that they have written to and met with the Westminster fire minister to request additional funding in order to make a realistic offer which meets the urgent needs of firefighters, respects their workforce and has some prospect of being accepted by firefighters.”

“Similarly, we will be writing shortly to the ministers and/or government departments responsible for fire and rescue services in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to seek urgent additional funding to enable fire and rescue employers to make a reasonable offer.

“Our members will now begin to discuss this offer and the Executive Council will reconvene shortly to discuss our next steps. We will now consider all options, including strike action.”

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