Firefighters urged to reject 5 per cent pay deal as ballot on industrial action opens
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which has begun to ballot members in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), insisted firefighters had been “treated appallingly” and had “had enough”.
Firefighters have until Monday November 14, to have their say on the pay deal, but the union is recommending they vote to reject the offer.
It comes just days after hundreds of firefighters gathered at Holyrood to protest about pay. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “We are a democratic union led by our members. It is firefighters and control staff who will decide any action that the union takes on pay.”
However, he insisted: “Firefighters have been treated appallingly by their employers, and by the Government, over the last decade.
“Pay is down by nearly £4,000 in real terms and that is why the union’s executive council is recommending that members reject this latest offer.
“Our members worked throughout the pandemic to help protect their communities. They delivered food, moved the bodies of the dead and delivered other vital extra duties.
“To try and thank them with a massive real-terms pay cut is absolutely disgusting. Our members have had enough.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The people of Scotland are well-served by the officers and staff of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who play a vital role in keeping our communities safe.
“Firefighter pay is negotiated through UK-wide collective bargaining arrangements, which includes SFRS as the employer. The Scottish Government is not part of these arrangements.
“The Scottish Government has continued the commitment to support SFRS service delivery and modernisation with a further uplift of £9.5 million for 2022-23 bringing the budget to £352.7 million.”
The Union claim that according to Income Data Research firefighters’ pay has been cut by nearly £4,000 in real terms compared to 2009.
The rate of inflation in the UK current sits at 12.3 per cent according to the retail price index (RPI), at 12.3 per cent.