Fury as fire service directors awarded mammoth pay rise

Ludicrous pay rises to directors at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service have been slammed by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

According to the results of a freedom of information request, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s director of people and organisational development, Anne-Marie Scott, was this year awarded a 21.35% pay increase. Deputy chief fire officer Trevor Ferguson saw his pay rise by 14.96% and chief fire officer, Andy Fry, was handed a 10.38% increase. Assistant chief fire officer Paul Southern received a 5.01% pay rise.

The revelations come as frontline firefighters and control staff find their pay capped at a below inflationary 1% for the fifth year in a row. This came after a two-year period when pay for all firefighters was frozen as part of the government’s public sector pay freeze.

Richard Jones, secretary of the FBU in the south east, said: “These revelations are a smack in the face of every firefighter working in Berkshire who has suffered years of pay freezes and pay caps only for those at the top to be substantially rewarded. It is a clear example of one rule for them and another for us.

“Firefighters’ workloads are increasing as budget cuts have dramatically reduced the number of personnel in the service. We are having to do a lot more work with fewer resources.

“We are facing budget cuts of up to £2.5 million from frontline service across Berkshire over the next three years. Fire service staff are distraught at being under threat of redundancy. The fact that directors have been awarded a whopper pay rise is an insult.”

Since 2010, 93 frontline firefighter jobs have been axed in Berkshire. 

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