Consultative ballot result pay proposal: Broadening the role of a firefighter in Scotland

Circular: 2020HOC0132MW

Dear Brother/Sister

Consultative Ballot Result
Pay Proposal: Broadening the Role of a Firefighter in Scotland

The consultative ballot of FBU members in Scotland in relation to the SFRS pay proposal for the broadening of the role of a firefighter in Scotland concluded at midday 28 February 2020.

The result of the consultative ballot is as follows:

Reject:                 60%

Accept:                40%

Turnout                81%

Therefore the 10 October 2019 Scottish pay proposal for broadening the role of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service is rejected by majority vote.

The main areas of concern that were raised by our members during the Branch, Area and Sectional meetings undertaken during the consultation period were:

  • Co-responding to Slips, Trips and Falls
  • Co-responding to OHCA Plus


Members also raised concerns in relation to the capacity within the SFRS to successfully deliver training to co-respond to Slips, Trips and Falls and OCHA + and how the inclusion of these two specific additional duties would impact on other core duties and training.

It was very apparent through the extensive membership consultation that our members in Scotland acknowledged the considerable amount of work that had been undertaken by all parties through the NJC in seeking to reach agreement on broadening the role of a firefighter in Scotland. There were clearly areas of the proposal that members in Scotland believed they could be in a position to agree but the specific concerns set out above prevented them from being in a position to accept the proposal as it currently stands.

The FBU has been clear in all of our correspondence that it is the proposal in its current form that is not acceptable. We have also been very clear that our commitment to a negotiated settlement remains and that we are therefore fully committed to continue negotiations with the SFRS, through the auspices of the NJC, in order to seek to reach agreement on broadening the role of a firefighter in Scotland, an agreement that would benefit both firefighters and the people of Scotland.

The FBU is therefore of the firm belief, that at this juncture, it would be detrimental to all parties, and  communities across Scotland, to essentially jettison an almost twelve month period of significant progressive dialogue in relation to the broadening of the role. 

The Scottish government Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham MSP, wrote to the FBU 30 January 2020 stating that:

‘If the latest pay proposal is rejected, then I repeat what I said in November: the case for continued investment can only be supported if real progress is made on broadening the role of firefighters in Scotland and demonstrating the benefits this brings to community safety.’

The FBU asserts that real progress has been made and that can be clearly demonstrated, the FBU also believes progress can continue to be made through further pay negotiations. The FBU is fully committed (as we have throughout the consultation process) to continue negotiations and we call on the SFRS to demonstrate their continued commitment to deliver on the principles within the Fire and Rescue Service Framework for Scotland 2016 by also committing to continue negotiations.

I will write to Chief Officer Blunden notifying him of the result of the consultative ballot and to request his confirmation that the SFRS commit to immediate further negotiations.

Now is not the time for the SFRS to walk away from talks.

Best wishes.

Yours fraternally

Matt Wrack
General Secretary

Share this circular