Firefighter strikes: when is Fire Brigades Union ballot, why are members voting on walkout, who could strike?

The Fire Brigades Union said the move follows a 2% pay offer made in June, which has not been increased despite the soaring rate of inflation.

Tens of thousands of firefighters and control room staff are to be balloted for strikes over pay in the latest outbreak of industrial unrest sweeping the country.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said 32,500 of its members across the UK will vote in the next few weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

The union said the move follows a 2% pay offer made in June, which has not been increased despite the soaring rate of inflation.

The pay offer represents a “significant real-terms pay cut”, said the FBU.

Firefighters in Wennington during the recent heatwave. Photo: Getty

When will the firefighter strikes take place?

The ballot for strike action is expected to be held in five weeks’ time.

If industrial action is voted through, the FBU would have to give two weeks notice of strikes dates. So it could be held in late October.

What has the Fire Brigades Union said of the possible strike action?

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Taking strike action is always a last resort but our employers are increasingly leaving us with no choice.

“There is huge anger among firefighters at falling pay.

Fire at Hankley Common. Picture: Surrey Fire and Rescue

“Firefighters must be paid fairly – there is absolutely no question when it comes to this.

“It is the responsibility of fire service employers to provide decent pay offers and that has not happened.

“The ball is now in the fire service employers’ court. It is not too late for them to make a much better pay offer for consideration by our members.”

Firefighters went on strike over pensions almost a decade ago and there was a lengthy strike over pay almost 20 years ago.