Fury over pay rise for top of­fi­cers as fire­fighter roles lost

Macclesfield Express - - BY-ELECTION PREVIEW - STU­ART GREER

UNION bosses are fu­ri­ous af­ter Cheshire Fire bosses awarded its top of­fi­cers pay rises while propos­ing to axe 48 fire­fighter jobs.

The deal saw chief fire of­fi­cer Paul Han­cock get a two per cent pay rise, tak­ing his an­nual salary to £155,890 and his deputy Mark Cashin bumped up to £133,118.

The pair also got one-off bonuses of £4,676 and £3,993 re­spec­tively.

The cash boost comes at a time when fire­fight­ers have been hit by the gov­ern­ment’s one per cent pub­lic sec­tor pay cap.

The ser­vice is also try­ing to save £4m from its bud­get over the next three years and is plan­ning to scrap the aerial appliance based at Mac­cles­field fire sta­tion.

Bosses at Cheshire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice said the pay rises were agreed af­ter one mem­ber of the se­nior man­age­ment team was axed and that the re­duc­tion in fire­fight­ers will be made from re­tire­ment and staff leav­ing.

But the Cheshire branch of the Fire Brigades Union, which rep­re­sents fire­fight­ers, said its mem­bers are ‘out­raged’ by the deal.

An­drew Fox-He­witt, sec­re­tary of the FBU branch, said: “This is a slap in the face of fire­fight­ers through­out Cheshire.

“At a time when man­agers want to cut 48 full-time fire­fight­ers posts – on top of the 134 they’ve al­ready axed over the past five years – it is de­spi­ca­ble that they have taken part in this highly in­ap­pro­pri­ate deal.

“Fire­fight­ers have been sub­ject to the gov­ern­ment’s one per cent pub­lic sec­tor pay cap. I don’t see why the rules should be any dif­fer­ent for se­nior man­agers.

“Our mem­bers are out­raged by this.”

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire said the se­nior man­age­ment team was re­duced from three of­fi­cers to two last year and it has pledged to make no re­dun­dant.

She said: “The pay of the ser­vice’s re­main­ing two prin­ci­pal of­fi­cers is re­viewed an­nu­ally by the Bri­gade Man­agers Pay and Per­for­mance Com­mit­tee.

“At their meet­ing on Jan­uary 10, mem­bers agreed to award a two per cent pay rise to the chief fire of­fi­cer and chief ex­ec­u­tive and the deputy chief fire of­fi­cer to recog­nise their op­er­a­tional cover du­ties and ad­di­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. fire­fight­ers

“Cheshire Fire Author­ity has kept its pledge of mak­ing no fire­fight­ers re­dun­dant. In­stead the re­duc­tion in who­le­time posts has hap­pened nat­u­rally, as peo­ple have left or re­tired from the ser­vice.”

Cheshire chief fire of­fi­cer Paul Han­cock

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