Scottish Fire 2020

SFRS Pay Offer – Broadening the role

Before Christmas Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) provided firefighters with an update on their negotiations with the FBU with a view to agreeing a new package, increasing pay by a minimum of 14.74% by July 2022 in response to broadening the firefighter role.

The proposed incremental uplift in pay is listed below.

Stage 1 payment – 4% 1st November 2019

Stage 2 payment – 4% 1st April 2020

Stage 3 payment – 4% 1st April 2021

Stage 4 payment – 2% 1st July 2022 (or the NJC pay award if greater)

As a member-led union, our view on the proposal is formulated from our members, who broadly are in support of refreshing the role of a firefighter to ensure that keeps the fire service relevant in a modern society, fit for purpose and most importantly, sustainable both to the public and as a career.

However, we are fully aware that the FBU does not wish to come to an agreement that only relates to Scotland. To do so will jeopardise the future of the national negotiating body (the NJC) and with it the power of the FBU as the sole employee representative on the board.

Our view is different, in that our members, their careers and their future comes first rather than the argument of power. While we can argue the finer points of the proposal it is clear that the future of the Fire Service is to provide a service that is both protective and reactive to public demand. Call levels have declined significantly and for On-Call firefighters, wages have declined to. This cannot be allowed to continue as it threatens the viability of the Retained Duty System (RDS) model. Serving firefighters joined the service to help and protect the public and a lack of activity will cause some to leave unnecessarily. The Fire Service also needs to be attractive to a wider group of people and this is achievable by having a wider role in which to perform a public service, the expectation in the future could be that not everyone performs exactly the same role but has the choice what aspects they wish to undertake. This will help overcome recruitment retention issues that has dogged the Fire Service for decades.

The service has confirmed that the broadening of the role of firefighters in Scotland is not dependent upon or linked to reductions in firefighter numbers, fire stations or appliances. Also, not all firefighters will be expected to undertake all of the elements for the broadened role at all times but evaluated on a needs analysis.

There are hundreds of firefighters in Scotland who are not in the FBU and you need to have your voice heard.

The details of the package can be found on our website ( 2020), please do read the details and let us have your thoughts (however brief) on what you would like to happen in your service.

In the meantime, we will continue to push forward our alternative view to Chief Fire Officer Martin Blunden and the Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham.

Please email your thoughts to FRSA HQ.