Firefighters have joined the rest of the state's public sector unions in accepting a 12-month interim wage offer in long-running bargaining efforts, though say the tight result sends a "clear message" to their employer.
Just 52 per cent of United Firefighters Union members agreed to the deal - which will deliver a 2.1 per cent wage increase from the expiry of previous agreements, signing bonuses and the continuation of negotiations.
The ballot closed on Sunday afternoon with 75 per cent of UFU members responding. Most other public sector unions had finalised their members' vote on the offer by late last week.
"The tightness of the firefighter vote is a clear message," said northern regional organiser Dennis Mullins, pointing to issues of training, resourcing and career progression. "[These will] remain front and centre in any future agreement process".
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"Firefighters want the employer to participate in a real discussion regarding the conditions of their employment including adequate staffing numbers and a determination to resource our Tasmanian Fire Service so that we can protect Tasmanian lives and property in the next fire season and beyond."
Mr Mullins added though the union would look to work collaboratively with the government when bargaining recommences, career firefighters would not hesitate to campaign for years "if that is what it takes" to see desired outcomes.
The state government was contacted for comment.
Announcing the offer last month Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the deal, which broke from a long-standing 2 per cent wage cap, did not include efficiency savings measures flagged in the May budget and would cost $8 million.
"This offer is quite different to other offers that we have made in that other offers have included a raft of terms and conditions," Mr Gutwein said. "What this does is reset the headline wage rate."
The government has set the end of November as the deadline for longer-term agreements to be made before the matter was referred to the Industrial Commission.
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