29 July 2020
Dear Brother / Sister
Employers’ pay proposal: Executive Council statement and members’ consultation
The Executive Council met today (29 July) to discuss the pay proposal from the fire service employers. The Executive Council agreed the statement below and agreed that members should be consulted on the position and recommended a way forward set out in the statement. Advice will be issued to brigade and branch officials regarding the practicalities of consulting members during the current pandemic and the lockdown arrangements.
The Executive Council notes the 2% pay offer from the fire service employers on 28 July 2020, nearly a month overdue. This offer is disrespectful toward firefighters on the part of the employers’ side of the NJC and the chief fire officers and others who advise them. It also reflects the continued chronic underfunding of our service by central government. Despite calling on the public to clap for key workers during the Covid crisis, the Johnson government has completely failed to provide funding to provide improvements in pay for those same workers – including firefighters.
The 2% proposal does not remotely address the needs of FBU members after a decade of government imposed austerity and pay restraint. It is particularly insulting to, and dismissive of, firefighters that the employers make this proposal against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting crisis. Firefighters across the UK have undertaken numerous additional functions during the pandemic in order to assist other services in saving lives and keeping communities safe. It is clear the fire service employers, and their advisers, have a complete lack of respect for those undertaking this essential work.
The Executive Council is clear that an increase of 2% will not address the issue of falling pay in our profession or the concerns of our members around this. Nevertheless, we note the need to urgently improve the living standards of FBU members and therefore believe the proposed increase should be made immediately.
The next phase of our campaign will include consultation in all branches, brigades and regions. It must include the presentation of our evidence-based case for improved funding and pay. This campaign must involve and mobilise FBU members across the UK and build on existing policies of the union as determined by our conference. Our intention is to win significant improvements in pay so as to reflect the vital work our members contribute to our communities. The fire and rescue service needs significant investment to protect jobs and to improve pay. Our campaign will include immediate plans for lobbying politicians at local level, at Westminster as well as in the different governments of the UK. We will discuss the level of campaigning required to achieve a significant improvement in pay, including the various options for industrial action.
Please ensure you take part in the discussions at your branch. Please follow the FBU website and social media for further information on developments.