A fire brigade union leader warns of strikes after reacting angrily to a 2% salary offer. The Board of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) recommends rejecting the offer, which it says is well below the rising inflation rate.
Between 2009 and 2021, firefighters’ real wages were cut by 12%, or nearly £4,000, the FBU said. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This is grossly inadequate and would result in a further cut in real wages for firefighters in all roles amid the cost of living crisis.
“This latest insulting proposal follows 12 years of government-imposed real wage cuts. This proposal will anger firefighters, those working in emergency fire services and those in all uniformed fire service roles across the UK.
“It’s annoying to be insulted in this way, especially after our contribution to public safety during the pandemic. Inevitably, firefighters will now start discussing responses, including industrial action.
“The firefighters 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 national fire service employers to let them know of the anger and frustration their proposal will cause.
“We will also seek confirmation that they have written to and met with the Westminster Fire Brigade Secretary to request additional funds in order to make a realistic offer that meets the urgent needs of firefighters, respects their workforce and has some prospect has to be accepted by the firefighters.
“Similarly, we will shortly be writing to the ministers and/or government departments responsible for fire and rescue services in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to urge additional funding to enable employers of fire and rescue services to make a reasonable offer .
“Our members will now begin to discuss this offer and the Executive Council will meet again shortly to discuss our next steps. We will now examine all options, including strikes.”