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Firefighters could strike after seeing real-terms earnings ‘drop by 12%’

30 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Photo Emily Price

A ballot for strikes by firefighters and control room staff in a row over pay closes on Monday.

If members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) vote for action, the UK will see its first nationwide fire service strike over pay since 2003.

Since 2010, firefighters have experienced a 12% drop in real-terms earnings, the union says.

In the same period, around one in five firefighter jobs have been cut, the FBU added.

Members rejected a below-inflation 5% pay offer last November.

The union said polling shows strong public support for strike action by firefighters, with around three in five people backing action.

Sustained attack

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Firefighters have faced a sustained attack on pay for more than a decade, with average pay falling by about £4,000 in real terms.

“Our members face hazardous situations every day and sometimes risk their health to do the job.

“Facing double-digit inflation and rocketing energy bills, they are now being told to put up with an even bigger real-terms pay cut.

“Meanwhile, the UK is home to a record number of billionaires.

“People join the fire service because they want to help people and serve their community.

“We have been pushed to the point of balloting by a government that is refusing to listen.

“On Monday, we will learn our members’ verdict on this derisory pay offer.”

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