National Update

National Bulletin - June 2021

National Pay Offer 2021

The Employees side of the National Joint Council (NJC) has put forward a pay offer of 1.5% to the FBU which their Executive have supported and are now in the process of consulting their members on the offer, which we anticipate will be accepted.

We note that these talks have taken place earlier that in past years, most likely due to the fact that the antiquated setup of the negotiation procedures of the NJC, has previously led to eventual pay rises taking place months after the official implementation date of 01 July. We have highlighted this in previous bulletins as unacceptable so clearly someone is listening!

While any pay rise during the current economic situation is welcomed, it is difficult to see how this offer compares with other parts of the public sector including the NHS and Police as no pay award has been officially declared at this time, except in Scotland where a rise of 4% has been confirmed by the Scottish Government, albeit the NHS in England is likely to receive a 1% increase.

By the FBU’s own admission, the pay of a competent firefighter is just over £4,000 lower than it should be compared to inflation rises over the last 10 years. Incidentally, the pay offer in Scotland, that was rejected by the FBU, would have seen basic firefighter pay increase in total by £5,201 by April 2022.

The FBU will blame past governments for this, yet they were the only union in the room negotiating annual pay deals, so much for the power of being part of the NJC. Firefighters across the UK need to understand that they are not receiving the appropriate representation they deserve.

The FRSA continue to campaign for reform of the pay structure within ‘Fire’ and we hope that the White Paper, which is due to be published and out for consultation this summer, will include a proposal to meaningful pay reforms.

Leadership Framework and Direct Entry Scheme

The FRSA met with representatives from the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) this week to discuss its Leadership Framework and Direct Entry Scheme (DES) proposals.

The ultimate aim of the Leadership Framework programme is to make development support available to all managers within a given level.

Individually tailored development plans should be completed to help develop the specific skills needed to be successful in your career choices. Promotion will be based on having experience, effective behaviours, and evidence to meet the next level requirements – not just by attending courses. Development will not be limited to simply attending courses or achieving specific qualifications. It can include deeper learning experiences such as taking part in a work-based project, access to a coach or mentor and various work assignments or secondments.

There will be a focus on blended learning which maximises use of different learning methodologies to enhance learning, appreciating that not everybody learns in the same way. The programme will provide the necessary support pathways irrespective of duty-system and be transferrable from service to service as it will be a nationally recognised programme.

The DES will be a framework to support people entering the sector at Station Manager and Area Manager levels to undertake operational roles that align with the existing role maps. It will be a nationally agreed programme that is quality-assured, and credible. It will be centrally coordinated and supported at a national level, even if it is delivered at a regional and local level. The FRSA supports this programme in principle, as it widens the scope of potential applications, bringing in more managerial and interpersonal experience that is non-Fire Service specific which will provide a more diverse outlook on how the service should function, both internally and externally.

We look forward to being involved in the development of both initiatives.

Represent the FRSA in your service

We are always willing to hear from members who are interested in joining our network of local officials that represent members within their own fire and rescue service. The contribution these officials make can literally be life-changing for members and is a very rewarding role which attracts payment for trade union duties. Training is provided by the Association and a mentoring arrangement is available, although the key attribute is your experience as an operational firefighter!

If you would like to know more, please contact FRSA HQ via 01953 455005 or [email protected].

Our offer to you

A new information leaflet is available encapsulating the key benefits of being a member of the FRSA. The document is available via our website and we would recommend that this is shared with your colleagues on station.