Firefighters in Scotland have rejected a pay offer amid a dispute over new duties.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) rejected the offer from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) by a margin of 60% to 40% on an 81% turnout.
The FBU says plans for firefighters to take on “significant areas” of health and social care work would see them attend incidents involving “slips, trips and falls”, and cardiac arrest emergencies.
Denise Christie, FBU Scotland secretary, said: “Our members have turned out in their masses at meetings across Scotland and to vote in this ballot.
“The consensus is clear; we want and deserve a pay increase, but the offer in its current form is unacceptable.
“We’ve been consistent throughout negotiations. Real progress has been made since the last offer was rejected in June, but some serious changes are needed to make this acceptable to our members.
“The SFRS need to listen to the concerns of their staff and get back around the negotiating table.”
Firefighters in Scotland and control staff previously rejected a pay offer in July.
That initial offer was refused over concerns including how the proposed changes to a crew member’s role would impact on core responsibilities and training, as well as the proposed pay increase.
The FBU also highlighted issues over the ability of the Scottish Ambulance Service and health and social care partners to carry out their duties when co-responding to incidents alongside fire crews.
Martin Blunden, SFRS chief officer, said: “We have spoken with the FBU, and while it is regrettable that we have been unable to reach an agreement, we respect the outcome of the ballot.
“We have been in a unique position in Scotland, having secured funding from our government, to bring forward a 17% pay offer to broaden the role of Scottish firefighters.
“As this offer has been rejected, there will be no further Scotland-only pay offer as there is now no additional funding and we will rejoin the UK-wide National Joint Council negotiations on firefighter pay.
“However, we remain absolutely committed to protecting Scotland’s communities from harm and identifying ways to meet new and emerging risks.”