Firefighters stage three walk-outs over weekend

FIREFIGHTERS in Hastings staged several strikes over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) at both Bohemia Road and The Ridge Fire Stations walked out on Friday (May 2), between noon and 6pm, on Saturday (May 4), from 2pm to 2am and on Sunday (May 4) between 10am and 3pm in the latest round of industrial action.

Fire crews went on strike again because of an ongoing dispute with the Government over the future of firefighters’ pensions.

The Government wants firefighters to work up to 60 rather than retire at the age of 55, as they currently do.

The FBU says Whitehall is also proposing that the contributions firefighters pay towards their pension from their salary increases to 14.2 per cent. The rate is currently 13.2 per cent.

Union bosses also believe it is impractical for firefighters to work beyond the age of 55 and this was backed up by the Anthony Williams report, commissioned by the Government itself.

Mark Brown, the FBU’s brigade secretary for East Sussex, said: “We hope this situation will be resolved pretty soon but we will have to wait and see.

“The FBU’s executive committee is meeting with the Government next week.

“We definitely do not want to keep on going on strike and would all like to go back to work.”

Firefighters in Hastings and across the UK have staged several strikes since September.

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.