Firefighters and control room staff could strike over pay, after a union rejected a pay deal that would result in ‘significant’ real-terms pay cut.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is to ballot 32,500 members for industrial action after employers failed to improve on a 2% pay offer that was rejected in June.
With the consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation tracking at 10.1% in the 12 months to July 2022, and Goldman Sachs predicting that inflation could reach 22%, the FBU said the pay offer, which was due to apply from 1 July, represented a significant pay cut for its members.
It claimed that between 2009 and 2021, firefighters’ real pay has been cut by 12%, or nearly £4,000.
According to Indeed, the average salary for a firefighter is £27,287 in the UK.
Strikes over pay
General secretary Matt Wrack said: “Taking strike action is always a last resort. But our employers are increasingly leaving us with no choice. And there is huge anger among firefighters at falling pay.
“Firefighters must be paid fairly: there is absolutely no question when it comes to this. It is the responsibility of fire service employers to provide decent pay offers and that has not happened.
“The ball is now in the fire service employers’ court. It is not too late for them to make a much better pay offer for consideration by our members.”
The ballot for strike action is expected to be held in five weeks’ time. If members vote to walk out, it will be the first time they have done so in almost a decade.
Personnel Today has contacted the National Fire Chiefs Council for a response.
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