Our previous bulletin confirmed that the FBU had unnecessarily linked the EMR trials with employers pay offer, confirming that they would withdraw from the trials due to refusing to accept the pay offer on the table.
At the time we wanted to reassure our members that this would not affect the Co-Responder Schemes that had been successfully in operation for many years outside of these trials.
It would appear that the FBU have now had a change of heart, presumably following pressure from their own membership, the majority of which wished to continue with the EMR trials.
We now understand that the FBU will recommend to its members that they accept the pay offer, the same pay offer that the FBU previously claimed was ‘not acceptable’. This change in stance over the pay offer also means that the EMR trials will not cease as of 24 August 2017 but will now continue.
As we have stated previously, the current negotiation arrangements at national level within the National Joint Council (NJC) are outdated and in need of a more inclusive, transparent structure where all employees feel that they are being represented and have confidence that they are being treated as a valued employee.
We will continue to provide further updates as and when they become available.
The employers offer comprises of the following:
- Stage 1 – to immediately apply a 2% increase on basic pay across the board with effect from 1st July 2017. This includes CPD payments. This will allow time to reach a permanent agreement that can meet both parties’ aspirations.
- We expect to be able to reach a deal through the NJC which would: build upon the current broadening the role of firefighters negotiations; agree a permanent position; and include how the arrangements for the pay awards for 2018, 2019, and possibly 2020 will be staged fitting into an overall pay framework (including that relating to Retained Duty System firefighters).
- Stage 2 – Assuming the deal referred to in (ii) above is reached, we will apply a further 3% increase with effect from 1st April 2018 as part of the 2017 settlement.
- However as you are aware fire and rescue services have had to deal with significantly reduced finances over recent years. Therefore, to be absolutely clear, in order to be able to apply the stage 2 increase it will also have to be subject to governments across the UK providing funding to enable us to do so.
- We would want to urgently discuss with all four UK governments as soon as possible, both jointly and where appropriate separately, how the service can be put on a firm financial footing to enable change to be achieved. The role of the service has evolved and needs to continue to evolve.
- In the interim, the current positions in respect of work being undertaken by employees through the trials and that related to MTFA would need to be maintained throughout the negotiation.
If you are disillusioned or dissatisfied with your current representative organisation, why not find out what the RFU has to offer? As an independent union with over 40 years’ experience in the fire service and countless successes at an individual level, brokering agreements at local level and acting as a pressure group at national level, we believe that we have something valuable to offer our members.
To find out more you can contact RFU HQ or your local RFU representative.