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5.6% PAY INCREASE FOR UK FIREFIGHTERS

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Firefighters in the United Kingdom will be getting a 5.6% pay rise next month. The annual rise, starting on 7 Novem...
Firefighters in the United Kingdom will be getting a 5.6% pay rise next month. The annual rise, starting on 7 November, was agreed yesterday at the Joint National Council for Local Authorities Fire Brigades. It will add about£48m to the annual pay bill of£868m. The pay rise comes from an agreed pay formula, which has determined firefighters pay for the last 20 years.

Lawrence Conlon, chair of the Fire Authority Employers says:

'We will honour the increase because it is a long-standing formula. But there are real problems for employers this year. The settlement is£13m more than we can afford. That is the gap between the grants we

have received for the fire service and the costs of this award. To meet the extra costs authorities will either have to make cuts, even more efficiency savings, cut other local authority services to finance firefighters wages or do all three.'

Tony Ritchie, chair of the Local Government Association's fire committee pointed out:

'This is not a situation which can go on indefinitely, without adversely affecting the front-line service to the public. That is why, after this year's pay settlements, I want to discuss with the FBU how we can get greater efficiency into the fire service. Firefighters' pay must not imperil public safety.'

Jane Mitchell, chair of Convention of Scottish Local Authorities Fire

Employers Group:

'We have given a commitment to honour the pay formula this year. However, Scottish employers will have great difficulty meeting this award. In return for the employers' gesture of good faith we expect co-operation and understanding from firefighters at this difficult time.'

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