FIREFIGHTERS and control staff have voted to reject a 5% pay offer in a result that union leadership say displays “remarkable strength of feeling”.
79% voted to reject the 5% offer, with 78% of eligible members voting in the ballot.
The ballot was a consultative ballot of union members on the 5% pay offer and not a ballot for strike action. Next steps will now be decided by the Executive Council, but the union will be moving to a ballot on strike action.
Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said:
“FBU members have spoken. This result, on a two week turnaround, shows that there is remarkable strength of feeling amongst firefighters and control staff on this derisory pay offer. The ball is in the employers’ and government’s court. There is still an opportunity to resolve this dispute and we will be writing to Fire Ministers and government departments across the UK requesting urgent meetings.
“We have firefighters using foodbanks. Our members worked through the pandemic to help protect their communities, taking on extra duties to do so. A further real-terms pay cuts is an absolutely disgusting way to thank them. Whilst strike action is always a last resort, our members simply can’t go on like this.”
Whilst government is not directly responsible for pay negotiations it directly provides a significant proportion of the funding for fire and rescue services across the country.