1. ITV Report

West Midlands firefighters have voted to strike in contract dispute

West Midlands Fire Service during a training session Credit: ITV News Central

Firefighters in the West Midlands have voted by nine to one in favour of strikes in a dispute over new contracts for new entrants.

The Fire Brigades Union said the new contracts were "exploitative" and would mean firefighters entering the service would have to take on work outside the agreed role of a firefighter.

“This is an overwhelming result. It shows the huge strength of feeling among firefighters and emergency control staff in the West Midlands.

"It is time to wipe the slate clean and bin these disgraceful contracts right now.

"Now is the time for the chief fire officer and politicians on the fire authority to listen to their firefighters.”

– Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary

“Our members have made it clear that these contracts are completely unacceptable and should be withdrawn. Firefighters do not vote for strike action easily.

"There is an overwhelming strength of feeling that these contracts are bad for the fire service, firefighters and the public they serve.

"We have a mandate to take strike action and we will do if these contracts are not removed.”

– Andrew Scattergood, chair of the FBU in the West Midlands