Scottish Pay Offer - Rejected
Broadening the firefighter role
The FRSA is very disappointed (but not at all surprised) that the recent FBU consultative ballot provided a result that rejected the proposal for the broadening of the role of a Firefighter in Scotland.
The FBU has provided no details on how many ballot papers were issued or returned but we do know that almost one-in-five members didn’t vote. The 60/40 result demonstrates that there is clearly a large split between those who favour the proposal and those who don’t. Add FRSA members and non-union members to the 40% and it could be argued that a majority of the workforce are being denied the opportunity to move forward with their careers and help overcome the ongoing recruitment and retention issues the service faces.
While there are areas of the proposal that we agree need tweaking (there is never a perfect proposal on the table when negotiating such changes) the overall benefits of the package far outweigh the arguments for the status-quo.
Politics at play
It is also fair to say that the primary reason as to why the FBU recommended rejection of the proposal, was more to do with protecting the National Joint Council (NJC) and having a set of national terms and conditions across the UK, rather than the actual proposal itself.
In England the Government is still awaiting proposals from the NJC on how the sector intends to reform from within and a business case proposal for an improved financial package. Scotland are streets ahead whereby a sustainable financial package had been agreed by the Scottish Government and a linked set of proposals on the table to broaden the firefighter role.
So where does this leave firefighters in Scotland? Well, if you feel let down by the current situation you can have your voice heard collectively by being a member of the FRSA. The more members that join the Association the louder our voice will be towards both the service and the Scottish Government. If you do not truly believe that your current union is representing your views, it’s time to make a change.
For reference the details of the package can be found on our website (www.frsa.org.uk/Scotland 2020).
We would welcome your views on the current situation and the rejected proposals FRSA HQ.