Employers’ proposals on pay
The Executive Council met yesterday and received a proposal on pay from the fire service employers. It is important to note that this is the first proposal on pay within the public sector which does not apply a 1% cap to a proposal for an annual pay rise. The Executive Council acknowledged this movement. The Executive Council also recognised that the proposal opened the door to a further increase for 2017 and for the years beyond that - although no figures were attached in relation to 2018, 2019 and 2020. In the light of this, the Executive Council concluded that the proposal did not address the concerns which the union has raised through our claim.
The issue of pay is one for FBU members to decide and, in accordance with our policy, there will now be a period of consultation with members. As part of this process, all branches should meet and should ensure consultation with all members. Brigade officials will ensure the returns from this discussion will be collated and reported to Regional Committees. The Executive Council will meet on 24 July to consider the outcome.
The position and recommendation agreed by the Executive Council is set out below:
2017 Proposals on Pay
The Executive Council has received the attached proposal from the employers on NJC pay and conditions.
The policy of the FBU, agreed by Conference, is that this matter must now be subject to consultation with members. Members must be given 21 days to consider the employers proposal. The Executive Council will consider the result of this on 24 July in order to meet the 21 days requirement.
The Executive Council has considerable concerns with the proposal from the employers and recommends to members that, in its current form, is not acceptable.
The Executive Council:
1. Welcomes the acknowledgement by the fire service employers that firefighters deserve to be paid more and the departure from the previous approach to pay.
2. Welcomes the acceptance by the employers that a 1% pay offer is not viable and would not be acceptable to FBU members.
3. Welcomes the commitment from the employers to lobby governments across the UK for funding to ensure the viability of the fire and rescue service, including the new areas of work discussed by the National Joint Council.
4. Believes that the proposal presented so far does not adequately address the concerns of FBU members.
5. In particular, the idea of a payment for 2017 (the proposed Stage 2 payment) being delayed until April 2018 is not acceptable. The payment of any further increase for 2017 must be implemented earlier and during 2017.
6. Equally, a delay in resolving other major issues – including the pay settlements for 2018, 2019 and 2020 – is not acceptable. The settlement of pay increases for 2018, 2019 and 2020 must also be agreed at a far earlier stage - and by no later than the end of November 2017- a date identified by the FBU re-call conference in March 2017.
We seek the urgent response from the employers while our consultation with members takes place. As a part of this consultation we recommend to members that, if the concerns we have raised are not addressed, we will conclude that the employers do not wish to progress with the joint initiatives agreed through the NJC and the NJC trials will therefore cease.