Following the rejection of the 5% pay offer in the consultative ballot, the Fire Brigades Union has announced dates for a ballot on strike action.
The ballot will open on Monday 5 December and close on Monday 23 January.
On Monday it was announced that firefighters and control staff had voted to reject a 5% pay offer in a consultative ballot, a result that union leadership said displayed “remarkable strength of feeling”. 79% voted to reject the 5% offer, on a 78% turnout. The decision to move to strike ballot follows that result.
If a strike does take place it would be the first national strike of firefighters and control staff since 2014 and the first on pay since 2003.
Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said:
“We have firefighters using foodbanks. Our members worked through the pandemic to help protect their communities, taking on extra duties to do so. A further real-terms pay cuts is an absolutely disgusting way to thank them. Whilst strike action is always a last resort, our members simply can’t go on like this.
“The ball is in the employers’ and government’s court. There is still an opportunity to resolve this dispute and we will be writing to Fire Ministers and government departments across the UK requesting urgent meetings.”
Whilst the Westminster government is not directly responsible for pay negotiations it provides a significant proportion of the funding for fire and rescue services across the country.