Hundreds of firefighters protest 'insulting' pay offer at Holyrood

The Fire Brigade Union have urged members to reject a 5% pay rise amid the rising cost of living.

Hundreds of firefighters protest against ‘insulting’ pay offer outside Scottish Parliament STV News

Hundreds of firefighters have protested at the doors of the Scottish Parliament against what has been described as an “insulting” pay offer.

Around 500 members of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) took their campaign for fair pay to Holyrood on Thursday in a bid to lobby ministers for a larger pay rise for members.

It comes as workers are currently being balloted over whether to accept a 5% pay offer, which the union have branded “insulting” and have urged members to reject.

Union bosses say pay for firefighters and control room staff has seen a real terms cut of £4000 over the last decade.

They have called on the Scottish Government to increase wages amid the rising cost of living.

Speaking after the event, Scottish FBU secretary John McKenzie said: “This was a massive show strength from our members. The number of firefighters at the Scottish Parliament today is a clear demonstration of the anger felt at the insulting 5% offer made by our employers.

Around 500 firefighters and control room staff took part in the demonstration (STV News)

“Our members risk their lives every day keeping the communities and people of Scotland safe, taking strike action is always a last resort but we are being left with no choice’.

“After a decade of cuts firefighters and control room staff in Scotland have seen their pay cut by over £4000 in real terms.

“This cannot go on. Inflation is sitting at 12% and food, energy and other household bills are soaring. The UK and Scottish Governments must fund a serious and fair pay increase for our members.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The people of Scotland are well-served by the officers and staff of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), who play a vital role in keeping our communities safe.

“Firefighter pay is negotiated through UK-wide collective bargaining arrangements, which includes SFRS as the employer. The Scottish Government is not part of these arrangements.

“The Scottish Government has continued the commitment to support SFRS service delivery and modernisation with a further uplift of £9.5m for 2022-23 bringing the budget to £352.7 million.”

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