Fire unions in pay strike alert
Fire union bosses say a two per cent pay offer for frontline staff does not take account of the extra work being done by their members.
And the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has not ruled out possible strike action if the service’s employers fail to acknowledge the additional duties they say firefighters are increasingly faced with.
Union leaders say that it could recommend to members that they withdraw from all non-contractual work, while their dispute continues with the national negotiating body, National Employers, which represents which all Britain’s fire brigades.
The FBU is also lobbying government to address what they consider to be serious underfunding of brigades, including Greater Manchester.
A FBU spokesman said the pay offer “fails to take account of the fact that FBU members have already significantly expanded the work and activity undertaken in the service, in most cases without any appropriate payment.”
The issue echoes calls by the FBU for firefighters in Wigan borough not to sign contracts which covered Marauding Terrorism and Firearms Capability work, without the proper recompense.
Meanwhile the employers have warned that any increase above the two per cent offer would have to be supported by government ministers.
National Employers’ secretary Simon Pannell said: “From a National Employers’ perspective any increase above that level would be dependent upon a successful conclusion to the broadening the role negotiation and securing additional funding from governments.
“As negotiations are continuing, our expectation is that any overall settlement will also take into account this increase.”
Union bosses have recommended that the pay uplift be accepted, pending further talks, and are preparing to undertake a widescale lobbying campaign for MPs and fire authorities.
But they have also sought backing for potential industrial action, if discussions on pay for extra roles falter.