YES to reject open-ended flexible contracts. YES to build our campaign, protect our future, and increase our pay

The pay freeze imposed by central government has cut the real wages of FBU members while cuts to funding have resulted in the loss of thousands of fire service jobs.

Taking account of these issues, FBU Conference agreed that the union should engage in discussion with our employers about the future of our service, including the potential to further broaden the role of our service and the work undertaken by firefighters. The aim has been to make a strong case for investment in our service for now and for the future – including addressing the issue of pay.

The FBU has been clear that any proposed changes to the roles and work of FBU members would need to be clearly defined and limited to those specific issues agreed.

Despite this, the employers’ have produced a proposal that completely fails to take account of this point and instead lists various (non-agreed) activities with the comment that the lists are “non-exhaustive.”

The FBU’s executive council unanimously finds this proposal unacceptable.

The employers' pay proposal

The employers’ pay proposal is insulting to hardworking and dedicated firefighters and firefighters’ control. Members are being asked to agree to an open-ended contract, where at any point, new roles and responsibilities could be added to role maps, without negotiation or remuneration. There is also no guarantee of any funding for the dismal pay proposal which is on the table. As a union committed to protecting our members, the FBU cannot and will not allow it, and encourages all members to reject the proposal and vote to take control of any plans to broaden the role.

The role of a firefighter is changing, the union recognises this, but we need to take control of any future changes to our roles and our service and stop the piecemeal erosion of professional standards. Firefighters need to be at the heart of any changes to protect members and the public.

This affects the future of every single union member and that is why all FBU members are being asked to vote in a consultative ballot.


The ballot will be delivered to home addresses from 19 March.  It will consist of two questions on which members are urged to vote YES YES.

Vote YES – to reject the employers’ free-for-all flexible contracts

Vote YES – to build our campaign and make the case for funding of our service, including pay

Members will be able to vote via post or online using a unique password. Further information relating to the ballot will be issued in the coming days, and will include a circular to all members’ home addresses, videos and other updates via the FBU website, the e-newsletter Rollcall, twitter and Facebook. Sign up to Rollcall below:

Sign up for Rollcall


Circular 2019HOC0173MW: Consultative ballot on pay and conditions

Employers' pay proposal

Employers' letter on pay proposal 

Circular 2019HOC0174MW: Pay and conditions consultative ballot

Circular 2019HOC0183MW: Pay and conditions consultative ballot - online voting

Video interview