UK fire service receives revised pay offer after backlash


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UPDATED: The Fire Brigades Union has met with fire services employers at the National Joint Council and Middle Managers Negotiating Body following an outcry over the 2% pay increase that was proposed in recent months.

The new offer is a 5% increase on all Grey Book rates of pay, including CPD, from 1 July 2022. 

The move follows the Executive Council of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has voting unanimously rejecting the initial 2% pay increase offer, which it pointed out was a real-terms pay cut in the midst of the cost of living crisis.

FBU response

The following statement has been made by FBU general secretary Matt Wrack: “The Executive Council has today [05.10.22] debated the revised 5% pay proposal from the fire service employers. By unanimous decision, the Executive Council agreed the following.

“The Executive Council recommends that the offer is rejected but this is a decision for our members to make.

“The Executive Council has agreed to commence a membership consultation on the revised proposals. This will consist of a period of consultation briefings and meetings followed by a consultative ballot.

“The Executive Council took note of the following:

  • When we were offered 2%, we were told it was a final offer and employers had no more to offer.
  • We are now told 5% is a final offer and the employers have no more to offer.
  • The only reason for the revised proposal from our employers is the campaign of the FBU, the anger demonstrated by our members and their obvious determination to fight for better pay.
  • When inflation is taken into account, the 5% offer still represents a further cut in real wages.
  • This follows years of austerity, pay stagnation and a decline in real wages.
  • Central government has failed to provide any funding to fire service employers to support additional pay.
  • Central government has deliberately underfunded our service, meaning cuts in services and jobs and squeezing pay for professional firefighters.

“At a time of such high inflation the Executive Council recommends rejection of the 5% offer. The obligation to make an acceptable and reasonable offer lies with the fire service employers. FBU members will decide what is and what is not acceptable. In this process, the only figure which matters is the figure made as an offer by the employers – which our members find acceptable. That is for FBU members to decide.

“We shall be arranging briefings for officials and various meetings and briefings for members over the next few days. Please ensure you attend and participate.”

NFCC response

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) also responded to the increased pay offer: “We note and welcome yesterday’s increased pay offer for firefighters who should be  properly recognised and valued. This is clearly demonstrated every day in the communities they serve.    

“We know this will be a challenging time for fire and rescue services and staff. We support the fire service employers ask of government for financial assistance to ensure more sustainable future funding of fire and rescue services. This also needs to take into account other inflationary pressures, alongside pay, that are impacting on the services provided to local communities.”

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