Firefighters consider strike if 5% pay offer rejected in ballot

FBU's executive council has recommended that members reject the 'real terms pay cut' offer.

Fire Brigades Union could move for strike action if 5% pay offer rejected in ballot iStock

Firefighters are considering strike action over a revised 5% pay offer.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will hold a consultative ballot of members over the offer between October 31 and November 14.

FBU’s executive council has recommended that members turn down the “real-terms pay cut” offer, which was made following the rejection of a 2% offer in June.

If rejected, the union will move to formally ballot members on strike action.

“Firefighters and control staff are being forced to go to food banks and are struggling to pay for energy,” said FBU’s general secretary, Matt Wrack.

“We were part of the key workers who the Prime Minister stood outside every week and clapped for.

“We took on extra duties and helped protect our communities. A real-terms pay cut is a disgusting way to thank us.”

The announcement comes ahead of a demonstration outside Scottish Parliament by firefighters on October 27.

It will see hundreds of firefighters and supporters promote the union’s campaign for fair pay, an end to cuts and increased staffing, and is expected to be the biggest demonstration by FBU Scotland in many years. 

Mr Wrack said: “A 5% pay offer means a significant real-terms pay cut. Inflation is currently around 10%. We cannot go on like this.

“We are a democratic union and our members will decide, but the executive council could not in good faith recommend that members accept this offer.”

He added: “The government and local authorities have to invest enough money into the fire service so that it works – this is not up for debate. Firefighters need a significant pay rise and the fire and rescue service must have enough resources.”

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