Proposed strikes by the fire service have been postponed after an increased pay offer, it has been announced. 

The Fire Brigades Union said it has been offered a 7% pay rise backdated to July 2022, and then 5% from July 1 this year.

The union has put the offer to a ballot of its members and has announced the postponement of any strike dates pending the outcome of the ballot.

It comes after ambulance workers across the east of England announced they would go on strike for the first time amid an ongoing dispute over pay and working conditions

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “This offer is testament to the power of collective action through the Fire Brigades Union.

“Last year we were offered an insulting 2%.

“The employers have now revised their position.

“We have achieved this increase because of the massive vote in favour of strike action by firefighters and control staff across the country, which made clear the strength of feeling among firefighters about cuts to their wages.

“Since 2010, the average firefighter has lost at least 12% of the value of their pay.

“We will now ballot our members.

“Frontline firefighters and control room staff will make the decision on whether this pay offer is considered a real improvement.

“Our internal discussions will be honest and sober.

“While the offer is improved from last year, it still amounts to a real-terms pay cut.

“Meanwhile, plans to announce a series of strike dates and industrial action will be postponed, pending the outcome of the ballot.”

No details had been given on what would happen during any strikes by firefighters but there has been speculation that the military would provide cover.

Teachers, nurses and train drivers have been among the unions taking strike action in recent months.