Firefighters postpone strike action as union members consider pay rise offer

9 February 2023, 12:13

Firefighters postpone strike action as union members consider pay rise offer
Firefighters postpone strike action as union members consider pay rise offer. Picture: Alamy

By Harvey Lindsay

Firefighters have postponed strike action as union members consider increased pay offer.

Fire service employers proposed a pay increase by 7 per cent during talks on Tuesday while the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) ballot members on the offer.

Over 80 per cent of union members backed strike action in a ballot in December, which would have been the first UK-wide fire strikes over wages since 2003 if they went ahead.

General secretary of the FBU, Matt Wrack told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the new offer was "testament to the power of collective action through the Fire Brigades Union".

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Fire service employers proposed a pay increase by 7 per cent during talks on Tuesday
Fire service employers proposed a pay increase by 7 per cent during talks on Tuesday. Picture: Alamy

He said: "We have achieved this increase because of the massive vote in favour of strike action by firefighters and control staff across the country, which made clear the strength of feeling among firefighters about cuts to their wages."

Mr Wrack said control room staff and firefighters would now "make the decision on whether this pay offer is considered a real improvement".

The government said the fire service striking would be "disappointing and concerning for the public" when the ballot result for industrial action was announced.

A previous 5 per cent pay offer was rejected by union members in November, saying it would be a real-terms pay cut due to high inflation rates.

A trainee firefighter in London can earn £28,730 and £37,032 once qualified, compared to trainee firefighters outside of London, who are currently on a salary of £24,191 with a rise of £32,244 after qualification.

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