Date: 20 July 2016
To: ALL MEMBERS
PAY: NATIONAL JOINT COUNCIL SETTLEMENT 2016
Following the last meeting of the National Joint Council (NJC), the Executive Council agreed to consult members on the employers’ offer of a 1% increase on NJC rates from 1 July 2016. It was agreed that this would be done through the union’s branch and committee structure. Members were informed of this offer and of the consultation process in circular 2016HOC0277MW.
I can now confirm that at its following meeting, the Executive Council concluded that the offer should be agreed and the employers have been informed of this.
Growing anger over pay
Like others across the public sector, FBU members are on the receiving end of the government’s austerity agenda and the pay freeze (and subsequent 1% pay cap) which George Osborne introduced after the 2015 general election. Along with other trade unions, we continue to discuss how this can be challenged by the movement as a whole and we have consistently supported such moves at the TUC and elsewhere.
The Executive Council discussion heard reports of growing anger at the pay restraint and the fact that this has ensured the continuation of a squeeze on living standards for FBU members and their families. The Executive Council also took into account that without an agreement, no increase would be made with an immediate impact on all members, including those approaching retirement.
Nevertheless, the Executive Council is well aware of the growing anger on the issue of pay. This was raised and debated at our conference in May. Conference was clear that the FBU would need to step up our campaign on this issue in the coming months. As has been reported in various circulars, the union has engaged in a series of discussions with the employers on the roles of firefighters and the service. This involves five NJC work-streams which are considering various aspects of FRS work or potential work. These discussions continue and have not concluded.
Included within these discussions are the various trials relating to emergency medical response and continuing discussion around FRS work in relation to responding to terror attacks. Discussions on all five work-streams continue and have included recent dialogue with the Home Office on a number of these issues. These discussions continue with the fire service employers and with the Home Office. A more detailed report on these issues and the next steps will be issued shortly.
In the meantime, I attach the two NJC circulars which set out the new rates for pay (NJC/7/16)