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UK firefighters postpone strikes after new bid

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LONDON (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Britain’s firefighters have postponed strike action to vote on an improved wage offer, the firefighters union said on Thursday, giving the government some relief after a spate of strikes in multiple sectors caused widespread disruption.

The FBU said the new pay offer for firefighters included a 7% increase backdated to July last year and another 5% increase from July 1 this year. The union will now vote its members on the new offer.

Wage disputes have raged in Britain since last summer, prompting hundreds of thousands of workers to go on strike after inflation reached more than 10%, the highest level in four decades.

The British healthcare system was hit by its worst-ever strike earlier this week. The previous week teachers and trainmen had left.

The government has resisted allowing wage increases in line with inflation saying it would be unsustainable and, in turn, further increases in the price of fuel.

The FBU said that while the new offer would raise wages, it still amounted to a wage cut in real terms.

“Frontline firefighters and control room personnel will decide whether this pay offer is considered a real improvement,” the FBU said.

If they turn down the new offer, strikes will resume, he said.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar and Sarah Young, editing by Paul Sandle and Kate Holton)