Today I spoke at the Fire Brigades Union meeting in Norfolk, where we discussed the right to strike, democracy, and the importance of union membership.
Above all, it is key to recognise that firefighters risk their lives, day in, day out.
Whilst this undoubtedly much appreciated by everyone within their communities, it is now time to put our money where our mouths are, and pay them appropriately for the work they invaluable work they do.
The FBU set out to demand a fair pay rise earlier last year, after rejecting an insulting 2% pay rise offer, significantly below inflation. In October, they were offered a 5% pay rise, again rejected by 79% of FBU members.
Although the FBU seek to avoid strike action, after a year of employers failing to give workers a fair pay rise, they are now balloting to strike.
Firefighters in Norfolk and across the country keep us safe without hesitation, we must also not hesitate in rewarding them appropriately for their immense sacrifice and contributions throughout their careers.