Following a democratic consultation with members, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) last night rejected the recent pay offer put forward by the national employers of the fire and rescue service.
The offer of a 2% rise came, with a whole host of strings attached, 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 18th September. The funding of this work has never been confirmed by the Government.
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.
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, 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.”