Scottish fire crews offered pay increase – but with conditions

Firefighters could be set for increased duties (Alamy)

FIREFIGHTERS will win a bumper pay hike – if they agree to sweeping changes that could see their role extended.

Last week The Sunday Post revealed brigade top brass share a vision which could see firefighters take on a more caring role in future to meet the needs of Scotland’s ageing population.

Assisting with falls in the home, responding to marauding terror incidents and providing at-the-scene treatment to cardiac arrest patients are all likely to be on the table.

Scotland’s firefighters set for elderly ‘care’ role with plans to help heart attack victims and dementia patients

 

 

On the back of our exclusive revelations, Pat Watters – chairman of Scottish Fire and Rescue Board – wrote to personnel promising “a significantly improved recognition package” if firefighters agree to a new role.

Mr Watters said the service, which is facing tighter budgets than ever before, could provide more money for wages if it can remove inefficiencies.

He wrote: “Our vision would see your role extend into new areas, including responding to acts of terrorism, emergency medical response, severe weather and a broader preventative and intervention role.”

He said the service wants to improve flexibility and efficiency by introducing new crewing models using the latest technology and vehicles.

He has stated that if firefighters accept the new role, the SFRS will commit to a new four-year recognition package that would increase consolidated pay potentially beyond the offer currently being made at a UK level.

The letter to Scottish crews comes after the Fire Brigades Union recommended that members reject a deal that offered firefighters a 2% basic salary increase from July 2017. The pay offer by the Fire and Rescue Services National Employers would also have seen pay rise by a further 3% in April 2018, with the possibility of further hikes in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Denise Christie, treasurer for the Fire Brigade Union Scotland, said: “Any proposals to change a firefighters’ role-map and link it to pay must be addressed by the general secretary and the FBU’s executive council.”

The new vision for firefighters covered in our front page story last week outlined how firefighters will do more in coming years to help Scotland’s ageing population. The service is also looking to roll out a pilot that has seen them called out to cardiac arrests.

Last night Mr Watters said: “We have the skills and we have the resources to extend our role – and meet the needs of modern society.”

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