Firefighters postpone first strike in 20 years after being offered pay deal

A firefighters’ strike has been postponed after union members received a new pay offer.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said this morning that they will not announce any strike dates while a ballot is ongoing.

Last month, members of the Fire Brigades Union backed walkouts by 88% after rejecting a 5% pay offer, which fell below inflation.

The proposed national strike was set to be the first to take place in the UK since 2003.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said this morning it had been offered a 7% pay rise backdated to July 2022, and then 5% from July this year.

The union had warned of strikes if a previous 5% pay offer was not increased following a huge vote in favour of industrial action.

The union’s executive decided to put the new offer to a ballot of its members, and has postponed the announcement of strike dates pending the outcome.

The FBU said it will have an ‘honest and sober’ discussion of the offer, adding it still amounts to a real-terms pay cut given the rate of inflation.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: ‘This offer is testament to the power of collective action through the Fire Brigades Union.

‘Last year we were offered an insulting 2%.

‘The employers have now revised their position.

‘We have achieved this increase because of the massive vote in favour of strike action by firefighters and control staff across the country, which made clear the strength of feeling among firefighters about cuts to their wages.

‘Since 2010, the average firefighter has lost at least 12% of the value of their pay.

‘We will now ballot our members.

‘Frontline firefighters and control room staff will make the decision on whether this pay offer is considered a real improvement.

‘Our internal discussions will be honest and sober.

‘While the offer is improved from last year, it still amounts to a real-terms pay cut.

‘Meanwhile, plans to announce a series of strike dates and industrial action will be postponed, pending the outcome of the ballot.’

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