Firefighter strikes postponed after increased pay offer, says Fire Brigades Union

A firefighter in Parliament Square, central London,(James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)
A firefighter in Parliament Square, central London,(James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)

Strikes by firefighters have been postponed after an increased pay offer from employers, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced.

In a ballot that closed on January 30, firefighters across the UK delivered a decisive mandate for industrial action, over a 5 per cent pay offer.

On Wednesday, the FBU warned strikes by firefighters would be announced unless there was no progress in last-minute talks over pay.

But on Thursday it was announced a revised pay offer has been put forward, which the FBU said it would be “honest and sober” in discussing.

The FBU says the offer is for 7 per cent on nationally negotiated rates and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) backdated to July 1, 2022, and then 5 per cent from July 1, 2023.

The Executive Committee of the Fire Brigades Union has decided to put this offer to a ballot of its members, and has postponed the announcement of strike dates pending the outcome of the ballot.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said on Thursday: “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. Eighty eight per cent of firefighters voted for industrial in our ballot. The mandate for strike action by firefighters remains.”