Firefighters hold rally to support call for more pay

Thousands
of firefighters have marched through London in support of their recent pay
claim.

The
Fire Brigades Union reported up to 12,000 firemen and women took part in the
event in London – twice as many as had been expected.

A
fully qualified professional firefighter is paid £21,531 per year currently.
The Fire Brigades Union is demanding this be increased to £30,000 per year,
with full pay parity for emergency fire control staff and an increase for
professional firefighters working the retained duty system to £13.74 per hour.

At
the rally union general secretary Andy Gilchrist said the FBU would act on a
mandate for an industrial action ballot if there was no breakthrough on pay.

He
said: "Every time there is a major disaster in this country firefighters
are praised for the excellent work they carry out on behalf of the public.
Unfortunately this praise does not pay the bills. FBU members are clearly
saying to the Government and our employers don’t praise us – pay us."

Mike
Fordham, FBU assistant general secretary said: "Our pay is linked to an
outdated formula, which was agreed in the 1970s. The professional firefighter’s
role has changed dramatically since this time. All we are saying is that we do
a professional job and therefore we should be paid a professional rate of
pay."

By Quentin Reade

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