Chief Fire Officer John Roberts
Colleagues, you will be aware that the FRS Employers have offered Firefighters a 2% pay award. I know for many of you this will come as a great disappointment, but probably not a surprise.
WYFRS and I as the Chief, are fully supportive of Firefighters receiving far better pay awards, to at least keep pace with our public sector counterparts and in-line with cost of living increases.
Currently no additional money is coming from Government to fund the pay increase. As you know we are operating to very tight budgets already but we will meet the cost from within our existing budget. Inevitably that means that we will have to cut the Services we can offer to our communities.
Therefore, I have agreed to work with the FBU in voicing our concern regarding the funding of Fire and Rescue Services, and in particular WYFRS. We must be able to provide a sustainable FRS to our communities, whilst being able to offer pay that keeps pace with our economy and inflationary increases.
We have agreed to collaborate by raising awareness locally and nationally, in the hope of better funding arrangements for WYFRS. We will look to achieve this through the media and where appropriate by lobbying.
FBU Brigade Secretary Dave Williams
Sisters and brothers.
Despite our best efforts to achieve a fair pay rise for both 2017 and 2018, including agreeing with the National Joint Council to enter into a trial on Emergency Medical Responding, we have been belatedly offered just 2% for 2018, 2017 pay is still unresolved.
As many of you will know for far too long firefighter wages have suffered in the name of austerity and despite many private conversations around supporting a decent pay rise for firefighters, it is encouraging to see that we have a principal officer group that are willing to go “public” in that support.
Since the all members circular on the 27th July, both the Chief and I have had several discussions about redressing the balance and how best to achieve this, which has resulted in an agreement to work in collaboration. The West Yorkshire FBU welcome this approach and are excited by the new opportunities to build industrial relations to try and achieve shared goals.