UK Firefighters

UK Firefighters In order to give union members time to assess a fresh compensation offer, the threatened strike action by firemen has been put on hold.

A revised offer with a 7% salary increase was presented during Tuesday’s negotiations by fire service employers.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) are being balloted, hence the union has delayed declaring strike dates, according to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

When members were balloted on whether or not to participate in a strike in December 2022, more than 80% of those who cast ballots were in favour.

If the strike goes forward, it will be the first nationwide walkout by UK Firefighters in the United Kingdom in response to a salary dispute since 2003.

The new salary offer was a “testament to the power of collective action through the Fire Brigades Union,” according to Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union.

As the author puts it, “We have accomplished this increase because of the enormous vote in favour of strike action by UK Firefighters and control staff across the country.”

Compared to what they made in 2010, union members have seen a 12% decrease in their real wages, he claimed.

Fire service companies have suggested a wage raise of 5% starting in 2023, retroactive to July 1, on top of the 7% on nationally negotiated rates and continuing development payments that were promised in 2018.

The union has voted on this offer and is waiting for the results before declaring any strike dates.

Mr. Wrack stated that the UK Firefighters and control room employees will “decide on whether this salary offer is regarded a real improvement.”

Though he promised a “honest and frank” discussion, the revised offer “still amounts to a real terms salary cut,” he said.

In January, a disagreement over wages led UK Firefighters to vote for a strike.

Eighty-eight percent of union members who cast ballots supported organising.

The FBU had previously stated that it would wait to announce any strike dates until after it had met with fire service employers, including the fire brigades in English local authority regions, the regional fire services in Wales, and the national organisations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

North-western England control room workers voted similarly in a separate ballot.

The government called the possibility of strikes “disappointing and worrying for the people” after the ballot result for industrial action was disclosed.

In November, union members rejected a 5% salary offer on the grounds that, given the high rate of inflation, it would amount to a real-terms pay loss.

Taking into account the cost of living in the capital, the starting wage for a firefighter training in London is currently £28,730. They can earn up to £37,032 if they finish their training.

A firefighter’s starting salary is £24,191 outside of London, rising to £32,244 once they’ve completed their training.

Hundreds of thousands of people, including nurses, teachers, government employees, and railroad workers, have gone on strike since this statement was made.

On Monday and Tuesday, nurses went on strike, and at the start of the week, ambulance workers followed suit.

Even more strikes are planned for this week, including ones by physiotherapists, university faculty, and ambulance drivers.