Fury over pay rise for top officers as firefighter roles lost
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