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Fire chiefs massive pay rise

PUBLISHED: 13:18 05 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:24 01 August 2010

SUFFOLK'S fire chiefs were today accused of "not living in the real world" after it emerged they had enjoyed a pay rise of more than 4pc last year - while jobs are under threat.

SUFFOLK'S fire chiefs were today accused of “not living in the real world” after it emerged they had enjoyed a pay rise of more than 4pc last year - while jobs are under threat.

Chief fire officer Andy Fry saw his salary increase by 4.25pc to nearly £120,000 in the past year.

The county's two assistant fire chiefs saw their salaries increase by 4.05pc.

The rise comprises of 1.25pc awarded to all firefighters and a further 3pc rise for the chief and 2.7pc rise for the two assistants.

Their “top up” rise covers two years after getting no additional increase in 2008.

These shocking pay rises come after sources revealed to The Evening Star that as many as 17 firefighters' jobs could go as part of a review of their shift system.

However, other top county council bosses - including chief executive Andrea Hill, who is on £220,000 a year, and directors and assistant directors - have agreed to take no pay award this year.

The rises for the fire chiefs were condemned by East Anglian Fire Brigade Union secretary Adrian Clarke, who said the union had been told there was “a very real possibility” of job cuts among firefighters.

“I have heard 17 but I don't know where that comes from or how true it is, but we have certainly been told there is a very real possibility of a reduction in the number of firefighters,” he said.

“These bosses really should start living in the real world.

“We know how tough it is out there. We've seen friends and family members lose their jobs so we understand why there was only a 1.25pc rise this year.”

A spokeswoman for the county council said the top-up increases were agreed by the county, but were part of a national agreement to ensure there were differentials between the most senior officers and other fire staff.

She emphasised: “The extra rises cover two years, so they only equate at 1.5pc a year for the chief.”

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