Firefighters in the North East will struggle to keep up with mortgage payments and the travelling costs if their pay is not increased, a union has warned.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU)  has warned it will consider industrial action following a two per cent pay offer.

Tony Curry, FBU executive council member for the North East said the offer was “devastating”.

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He said: “Firefighters and control staff in the North East have seen relentless real-terms pay cuts over the last twelve years.

“A two per cent  pay offer is another utterly devastating step in that direction. If we don’t see better pay we will continue to see our members unable to keep up with their mortgage payments, and our members will continue to struggle to pay to get to work.

“It is a disgusting way to treat people in the business of saving lives. We call on our local fire service chiefs to do everything they can to increase their employees’ pay.”

Between 2009 and 2021, firefighters’ real pay has been cut by 12 per cent, or nearly £4,000, the FBU said.

The union is now considering industrial action, including strike action.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: “This is utterly inadequate and would deliver a further cut in real wages to firefighters in all roles in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis.

“This latest insulting proposal follows 12 years of government-imposed reductions in real wages.

“This proposal will anger firefighters, those working in emergency fire controls, and those in all uniformed roles in fire services across the UK.

“It is galling to be insulted in this way, especially after our contribution to public safety during the pandemic.

“Firefighters will now inevitably begin to discuss reactions, including industrial action.

“The Fire Brigades Union and our members do not consider or take industrial action lightly or without ensuring that all efforts to resolve the issue have been exhausted.

“To that end, we will be writing to the national fire employers to inform them of the anger and frustration their proposal will create.

“We will also seek confirmation that they have written to and met with the Westminster fire minister to request additional funding in order to make a realistic offer which meets the urgent needs of firefighters, respects their workforce and has some prospect of being accepted by firefighters.

“Similarly, we will be writing shortly to the ministers and/or government departments responsible for fire and rescue services in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to seek urgent additional funding to enable fire and rescue employers to make a reasonable offer.

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“Our members will now begin to discuss this offer and the executive council will reconvene shortly to discuss our next steps.

“We will now consider all options, including strike action.”

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