The FBU has called on employers to implement an “immediate and substantial increase” in pay for firefighters and control staff, as pay negotiations commenced by video conference.
Representing the employees’ side at the National Joint Council (NJC), which negotiates pay in the fire and rescue service, the FBU demanded action to tackle a decade of austerity and government pay freezes that have reduced firefighter pay.
Firefighter pay has been cut by £4,091 in real terms, using the government’s preferred method of calculating inflation, the consumer price index (CPI).
The union has previously said that any agreement on broadening firefighters’ roles would need to account for pay lost over the past decade.
Broadening the role discussions were paused last year following uncertainty regarding the timing of central government’s spending review. A pay settlement for 2020 is due by 1 July.
As with previous years, any pay agreement reached after the 1 July deadline is expected to be backdated to that date.