Firefighter Pay / Reward Proposal


Why would you pay firefighters more when they are already doing less than they were years ago?

This is not a pay rise. We are proposing a new recognition package in return for a completely new set of terms and conditions and a far broader role.

In addition, firefighters have over recent years continued to take on new skills – RTCs, water rescue, USAR – so this is about further expanding that role. 

We think it is fair that a firefighter is rewarded for being trained and ready to respond to major emergencies including terrorist attacks.

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Firefighters are significantly less active during a shift than other blue light employees so why do they deserve more pay?

This is not a pay rise. The roles are different and it is not right to try and draw comparisons. Our proposals will increase efficiency by both broadening the firefighter role into new areas and better aligning resource to need.

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Are elements of the new recognition package negotiable?

While we will negotiate the implementation of each element with the FBU, firefighters must commit to accepting all requirements set out as part of the offer.

The proposed new recognition package itself is not negotiable.

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Is it right that firefighters in Scotland will earn more than those in the rest of the UK?

Scotland has unique needs and is in a unique position to do the right thing for the public and its firefighters.

They should not suffer because of political and organisational issues in England and Wales.

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Do firefighters really deserve a pay increase seven times that of a nurse or police officer?

This is not a pay rise.

This is a new reward package for accepting a completely new role.

It should also be recognised that we can only achieve this through major transformation. We are the only major public service offering to do this – ensuring the public and our firefighters benefit.

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You are proposing a four year deal but only have a one year budget.  How can you guarantee delivery?

We are investing in a transformed Service. By releasing efficiencies elsewhere, we can fund the transformed role of firefighters.

We are, however, confident that the Scottish Government will continue to provide the required funding to support a Service at the very vanguard of public sector reform. 

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You are proposing a pay rise that will significantly outstrip public sector pay limits.  How are you able to do this?

This is not a pay rise. This is transformation. In return for completely new terms and conditions, a significantly broader role and greatly increased responsibilities we are proposing a fair recognition package phased over four years. 

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Are you still allowing firefighters to sleep in their beds at night for this extra pay?

This is not a pay rise. Our proposals will better align resource to demand. While firefighters will still be required to be on standby for emergencies at night, the level of that resource will be re-balanced. 

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Firefighter shifts and sleeping at night allows them to hold second jobs, do you think this is fair when you are giving them a pay rise?

This is not a pay rise. This is a recognition package for a completely new role. While we will re-balance our firefighter resources to deliver more and more efficiently, there is still a requirement for 24hr cover. That is what the public expects and that is what ensures the safety of our communities.

As part of this new recognition package, firefighters will be expected to take on new T&Cs, which will see greater flexibility through new shift patterns, crewing models and deployments.

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Do you have FBU support?

Our vision is on the same trajectory as the FBU.

Our significant progress to date has been achieved through open and honest partnership with the FBU in Scotland – this is an approach we hope will continue. The FBU Scotland are visionary in their understanding of the need to transform the Service and extend the role of the firefighter.

All negotiations on firefighter role and recognition package will be conducted through existing collective bargaining arrangements.

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What if firefighters reject the proposal?

We believe this is a strong proposal that is unmatched anywhere else.

We want to sit down at the negotiating table with the FBU to work towards an outcome that is right not only for firefighters but for SFRS and the public we serve.

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Is it right that already well-paid managers also get the increase?

Operational managers will be expected to play a vital role alongside their crews in responding to new risks, so it is right that they are also appropriately rewarded for a broader role.

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How are other blue light services viewing the SFRS proposals?

The Scottish Ambulance Service have already identified 44 places they’d like us to do OHCA.

We are also a member of the Blue Light Collaboration Group, in which we are having active discussions around where we can play a bigger role around health and youth intervention in particular. 

There is a desire across all of us to work more collaboratively and do the right thing for Scotland.

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How will you maximise Safe and Well visits?

We’re looking into data sharing at the moment and how we can broaden the value of our home fire safety visits to help identify other kinds of vulnerabilities within the household.

We’ve met with Health and Social care partners, we’ve made them an offer to help them make a difference to fire risk and more.  

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