We met today (Thursday) with the GMB to progress talks on the pay and grading dispute with the Sellafield firefighters.
Regrettably we were unable to find a resolution which was mutually acceptable.
Our priority remains the safe and secure management of the site.
To offer some background to this dispute, we were approached some time ago by the GMB to look at grading for our firefighters. We did this in good faith, and followed the standard process for grade assessment. This assessment did not demonstrate a need to re-grade the role, but did find that there were some tasks and training which may merit extra payment within the current grade of the role.
In recognition of this, we have made an offer to increase basic pay through skill sets for all firefighters which equates to an increase of over 5%, on the basis that they agree to be trained and carry out those tasks which were identified in the assessment. This is in addition to the current company pay offer. There will also be scope for further enhancement, within the new grading structure, which is part of Organisational Design and Grading (ODG).
Our 5% equivalent offer has been rejected by the GMB, who are claiming a payment closer to 12 percent.
• Our firefighters are currently paid £43,007, inclusive of shift allowance.
• A ‘civil’ firefighter – for example those working in Cumbria Fire Service, or any of the other fire services around the country – are paid £29,638*, (with no additional payment for working shifts).
• Our firefighters work four on, six off – civil firefighters work four on, four off. This means our firefighters work the equivalent of a 37 hour week. Civil firefighters work the equivalent of 42 hours each week.
Safety and security of the site is and will always remain our over-riding priority.
We await a formal response from GMB.
We will provide further updates in due course.
*Source, Fire Brigade Union (FUB) https://www.fbu.org.uk/pay-rates/pay-settlement-2016