FIREFIGHTERS in Fife are warning that strike action could be likely over their latest pay offer.

The Fire Brigade Union (FBU) will be consulting their members over the five per cent pay offer by ballot of membership, the ballot will run for two weeks from October 31 and could lead to industrial action.

The union have issued a statement to MSPs saying: “Every day Fire Engines sit empty and unstaffed across the length and breadth of Scotland, unable to mobilise to emergency incidents because there are no firefighters to crew them.

“Cuts to the frontline leaves fewer firefighters available to respond to emergencies. Greater delays mean an increased risk to the public. Cuts costs lives – every delay in responding to a serious fire or road traffic collision increases the risk of serious injury or loss of life.

“If the Scottish Government truly wants to see a modern Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, equipped and trained to meet the current and emerging risks we face as a nation, then they need to commit to providing the investment required to make that a reality.”

Local representatives from the FBU met with Alex Rowley, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife and told him that firefighters have been experiencing yearly, below-inflation pay settlements since 2007 which has resulted in a real term pay cut of £4,800 over the years.

With increased inflation, FBU representatives are warning that strike action is even more likely now than ever and are asking politicians to support a fair pay deal for fire service workers.

Mr Rowley commented: “Firefighters are worried about the continuing pressures on the service, and they quite rightly want to see their pay keep up with costs.

“The Scottish government spending plans risk fire services being decimated. There is already a shortage of firefighters with the minimum crew levels being missed on a regular basis.

“We need to see a fair pay award and a costed plan to ensure our fire service are equipped and staffed to meet the growing challenges the service face."

He has since raised the case in parliament, warning the government that the service is "underfunded" and will leave communities "at risk".

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "The people of Scotland are well-served by the officers and staff of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), who play a vital role in keeping our communities safe.

"Firefighter pay is negotiated through UK-wide collective bargaining arrangements, which includes SFRS as the employer. The Scottish Government is not part of these arrangements.

"The Scottish Government has continued the commitment to support SFRS service delivery and modernisation with a further uplift of £9.5 million for 2022-23 bringing the budget to £352.7 million.”