STRIKES by firefighters have been postponed following an increased pay offer from Fire and Rescue Service employers.

At talks yesterday, Fire and Rescue Service employers put forward a revised offer. The offer is for 7% on nationally negotiated rates and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) backdated to 1 July 2022, and then another 5% from 1 July 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.

The Fire Brigades Union strike ballot results were crucial to achieving the new offer. Last week, 88% of firefighters and control room staff in England, Scotland and Wales voted in favour of strike action on pay on a 73% turnout. In Northern Ireland, 94% voted in favour.

The union has said it will have an “honest and sober” discussion of the offer, which still amounts to a real terms pay cut given the rate of inflation. 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%. 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% 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% of firefighters voted for industrial in our ballot. The mandate for strike action by firefighters remains.'