Firefighters achieve increased pay offer after 'massive vote' for strike action, union chief says
Firefighters and control staff have achieved an increased pay offer because of the "massive vote" in favour of strike action, a union boss has said.
Billy Holland, regional secretary for the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), said members had "made clear the strength of feeling" within fire services.
It has led to a seven per cent rise backdated to July 2022 and another five per cent rise from July this year being tabled to end the industrial action.
So far the strikes have been postponed while union members across the country are balloted over whether to accept the new pay deal.
Mr Holland, who represents staff from fire and rescue services including West Midlands, Staffordshire and Shropshire, said: "(The) progress of an increased pay offer clearly demonstrates the value of working people acting collectively to seek improvements in their living standards.
"Originally we had been offered a two per cent pay increase and firefighters had made clear that was not acceptable. Following an 88 per cent vote for strike action, employers have made the latest improved offer.
"We will now consult members across the country. Firefighters will be under no illusion that although the offer has been improved, our pay in real terms has still fallen over the last decade or more. As a democratic union we will now come to a decision on whether or not the current offer can be accepted.
"We have achieved this increase because of the massive vote in favour of strike action by firefighters and control staff which made clear the strength of feeling among firefighters about cuts to their wages. While consultation of our members takes place, we will postpone plans to announce strike action."
The timing of the ballot is being finalised on Thursday and is likely to take a few weeks. No details had been given on what would happen during any strikes by firefighters but there has been speculation that the military would provide cover.