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FBU members reject pay rise offer

14 September 2017

THE FIRE Brigades Union (FBU) has revealed that its members have voted to rejected the recent pay offer put forward by the national employers of the fire and rescue service.

The FBU says the offer of an immediate 2% rise came with a whole host of strings which included the continuation of the current trials of emergency medical responding (EMR) and other, new work in the fire and rescue service. These trials will now come to an end on 18 September 2017. The funding of this work has never been confirmed by government.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack says there was a lack of clarity in the employers’ proposals, uncertainty about funding arrangements and concerns about the details of some of the new areas of work under consideration in the trials all contributed to members deciding not to accept the offer, the union says.

As part of the consultation, each union branch held a meeting with members being asked to vote on whether to accept the pay offer and continue the trials while funding was being negotiated or to reject the offer and consider other options.

The FBU had advised members to accept the offer before putting the offer to its membership to vote on. Matt Wrack said: “Firefighters, along with all other public sector workers, have suffered hugely as a result of the government’s pay policy. The offer fails to clearly address the pain our members have experienced as a result of years of falling real wages.

“The union is deeply concerned that a lack of detail on how the offer would be funded has led to the rejection. If a pay rise is funded through cuts to frontline fire services and job losses, this is clearly unacceptable.

“The failure of a number of fire and rescue services to address operational, safety, training and welfare concerns that firefighters participating in the trials have raised is deeply worrying.”