Firefighters set to stage their second strike

Firefighters on strike outside Bohemia Road Fire Station last month
Firefighters on strike outside Bohemia Road Fire Station last month

FIREFIGHTERS across town are set to stage another strike tomorrow (Saturday) in a row over pensions.

Crews from both Bohemia Road and The Ridge Fire Stations are walking out between 6.30pm and 11.30pm, the same time the bonfire celebrations take place in Hastings.

The dispute centres around the Fire Brigades Union’s (FBU) opposition to Government plans to make frontline firefighters work until they are 60.

The union fears the proposed changes mean firefighters will have to work longer, pay more into their pensions and receive less in retirement.

Mark Brown, the FBU’s brigade secretary for East Sussex, said: “We believe firefighters should retire at 55 as they do now. The Government said in its own report that 50 per cent of firefighters will not make it past 55 in terms of fitness. This job is not conducive working past the age of 55.”

The Government’s Fire minister Brandon Lewis said the firefighter pension age of 60 will bring their pension age into line with the police and Armed Forces. Crews from both stations in town took part in national industrial action for four hours on September 25.

During tomorrow’s walk-out crews comprising of non-FBU members and retained firefighters from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) will be on standby. Des Prichard, chief fire officer and chief executive, said: “We remain fully committed to keeping our communities safe throughout this dispute. Our contingency plans will provide emergency cover but this is inevitably below our usual level. We are asking members of the public to do what they can to reduce the risk of fire.”