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FIREFIGHTERS PAY FORMULA YIELDS JUST 1.4%

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The UK's 42,000 firefighters will receive a 1.4% pay rise rise this year after the local authority employers agreed...
The UK's 42,000 firefighters will receive a 1.4% pay rise rise this year after the local authority employers agreed this week to honour the fire service pay formula.

The formula links firefighters' pay to the upper quartile of average male manual earnings. The Fire Brigades Union heard on Tuesday the calculations had generated a figure of 1.4%.

If the formula had thrown up a figure above the 1.5% public sector pay limit the employers would have faced a difficult choice between challenging the government to satisfy the firefighters or sticking to the limit and risking costly strikes.

Although the firefighters will receive 0.1% less than other local government groups the FBU presented the award as a victory in the battle to preserve the pay formula.

'We are not too disappointed. All we asked for was the link. We have good years and we have bad years. This year is a bad year but we have kept the link and we are happy about that', said a spokesman.

The employers have also given a commitment to honour the pay formula next year.

The 1.4% award adds about £10 million to the £730m fire service pay bill and around £4.50 a week to the average firefighter's £320 weekly pay.

Until Tuesday no-one knew what the formula figure was. There was widespread speculation that it was likely to be slightly above 1.5%.

The employers had said they would not exceed 1.5% but there were suggestions recently that if the formula had given rise to a higher figure the employers might have agreed to arrangements to pay the difference in stages.

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