SFRS pay, terms and conditions offer: Consultative ballot

Circular: 2020HOC0116MW


The 28 January 2020 All Members circular: 2020HOC0038MW detailed the feedback and concerns raised by Members as to why they were rejecting the SFRS pay proposal on broadening the role of a firefighter in Scotland.

Following communications from the Scottish government Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham, in a letter to the Chair of the Fire Board on 6 February 2020, the FBU welcomes the commitment made for an additional £6.1m into the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service budget for 2020-21.

In the Minister’s letter, she also made reference to delivering the priorities in the Fire Framework 2016:

This Framework details and prioritises the requirements for SFRS to:

“…adopt an evidence led approach and explore how it will continue to change what it does; how it operates; how it works with communities and partners in achieving success and in how it will further develop its people to fully engage in making further organisational changes that drive better outcomes for the people and communities of Scotland.”

The FBU and our members have continually raised the point that any broadening of the role of a firefighter must have an evidence based approach and we believe some of the areas within the SFRS proposal e.g. co-responding to slips, trips and falls and OHCA plus do not have that approach.

Furthermore, the Framework does not state there is any requirement to co-respond to slips trips and falls and OHCA plus as part of any broadening the role of the SFRS which brings into question the basis on which the SFRS believes there to be a requirement to include them.

The Minister goes on to say that she believes that a deal should be reached in Scotland and hopes that it can be reached soon, stating:

“…if there is a rejection of the pay offer I understand that it is for the SFRS and the FBU through the mechanisms of the National Joint Council for Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services to decide if or how pay negotiations continue.”

The Minister also confirmed that she will always make the case for Fire and Rescue funding.

The FBU has continually made it clear that we are willing to engage in further negotiations with the SFRS to reach a position whereby we can recommend acceptance of a proposal to our members.

The SFRS, in their staff FAQ communications on Firefighter Pay/Reward Proposal asked the question “What if firefighters reject the proposal?” In answer they stated that “We want to sit down at the negotiating table with the FBU to work towards an outcome that is right not only for firefighters but for SFRS and the public we serve.”

Therefore the recommendation of both the Scottish Regional Committee and the Executive Council is that members in Scotland REJECT the proposal.

We call on the SFRS to agree further opportunity for discussion and we reiterate our call to continue those negotiations to arrive at an agreement on broadening the role of a firefighter that is right for firefighters and the people of Scotland.

Members are strongly urged to: VOTE REJECT

Yours fraternally

Matt Wrack
General Secretary

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