30 January 2023
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has today received notification that following a UK-wide ballot, members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have voted in favour of strike action.
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) Interim Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Andy Hearn said:
“I fully respect and recognise the outcome of the ballot. I wholly support a pay increase for our Firefighters and absolutely recognise the right of Firefighters to participate in peaceful strike action.
“This is a national issue which we are closely monitoring. We will continue to engage with the FBU, National Joint Council, Department of Health and other key stakeholders.
“As an organisation we have a legal responsibility to prepare for strike action and a legal responsibility to deliver our statutory duty. In terms of contingency planning, discussions are ongoing with the FBU to reach clarity about the special arrangements they are prepared to agree for NIFRS which would enable Firefighters to respond to certain categories of high risk calls, should a strike go ahead.
“We recognise that the outcome of this ballot may cause concern or feelings of uncertainty amongst the community that we serve. I want to reassure the community that we are doing everything we can to resolve this national issue. We will know more about what this ballot means for us as a Service in the coming days and weeks and we will continue to provide updates as appropriate.”