According to a union, the highest-paid fire chiefs earn more than six times the salary of a regular firefighter.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said that Freedom of Information requests reveal “stark inequalities” in pay, at a time when many firefighters are facing “in-work poverty”.
According to the union, chief fire officers earn an average of £148,000 per year.
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They added that the highest-paid earns £206,000, which is more than six times what an average firefighter earns.
The figures were released by the union as firefighters continue to vote on whether to strike over pay after rejecting a 5 percent raise offer.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Firefighters and control staff are facing yet another real-term pay cut while fire chiefs rake in huge salaries.
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“FBU members are increasingly facing real ‘in work’ poverty, with firefighters having to rely on foodbanks and take on additional jobs to afford the basics.
“At the same time, some fire chiefs are also trying to persuade firefighters and control staff to step back from industrial action, to simply shut up about salaries that are several times smaller than their bosses.
“It’s insulting and stinks of the hypocrisy of some chief officers who refuse to make the case for better pay for their workers.
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“Chief fire officers are not worth six times more than firefighters, it was the latter who were called key workers during the pandemic delivering vital services including moving the bodies of the deceased.
“Firefighters and control staff are being left with no other choice but to take action.”
The ballot result to decide on if further strike action will be taken is due at the end of January.
Pay discussions are taking place with the firefighters employers – typically local authorities – but the FBU insists “a big factor in this process is central funding”.
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If they go on strike, firefighters will be the latest in a long line of workers to take industrial action in recent months.
Tens of thousands of people have already walked off the job in their fight for better pay, including nurses, rail workers, civil servants, and postal workers.
Ministers have insisted that they cannot afford to provide inflation-busting pay raises to striking workers.
Labour, on the other hand, has chastised the government for refusing to meet with unions.
Source: Sky News
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