The blazing heat of the workers' fight for better pay has finally sparked a response from fire and rescue service employers.
With a revised offer of 7 per cent increase on nationally negotiated rates and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) dating back to July 1, 2022 and another 5 per cent from July 1 2023, the Fire Brigades Union has decided to put this offer to a vote among its members.
This move comes after last week's vote in which 88 per cent of firefighters and control room staff across England, Scotland, and Wales and a whopping 94 per cent in Northern Ireland, voted in favour of striking for a better pay. This resounding mandate was crucial in securing the new offer.
However, the union remains cautious and honest in their approach, as the offer still falls below the inflation rate. The strike dates have been postponed pending the outcome of the ballot, but the firefighters remain determined to ignite change and win the fair wage they deserve.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: "Today, firefighters were given a new pay offer.
“This offer is testament to the power of collective action through the Fire Brigades Union. Last year we were offered an insulting 2 per cent. The employers have now revised their position.
"We have achieved this increase because of the massive vote in favour of strike action by firefighters and control staff across the country, which made clear the strength of feeling among firefighters about cuts to their wages.
“Since 2010, the average firefighter has lost at least 12 per cent of the value of their pay.
"We will now ballot our members. Frontline firefighters and control room staff will make the decision on whether this pay offer is considered a real improvement.
“Our internal discussions will be honest and sober. While the offer is improved from last year, it still amounts to a real terms pay cut.
"Meanwhile, plans to announce a series of strike dates and industrial action will be postponed, pending the outcome of the ballot.
"88 per cent of firefighters voted for industrial in our ballot. The mandate for strike action by firefighters remains."