Firefighters to stage latest strike next week over pensions

FIREFIGHTERS in town will be holding another day-long strike next Thursday (July 10).

Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) are picketing between 10am and 7pm in the walk-out, which is the 15th nationwide strike since last September.

The industrial action centres around a dispute over firefighters’ pensions. Next Thursday’s strike also falls at the same time local government workers, teachers and civil servants walk out amid disputes over pensions, pay and workloads.

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 contributions firefighters pay towards their pension from their salary increase to 14.2 per cent, the current rate being 13.2.

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

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “We have wanted to settle our dispute for a long time, but the Government at Westminster is simply not listening. We are therefore proud to take strike action alongside our colleagues in other unions on July 10. Despite endless assurances the Government has done precisely nothing to address the threat to firefighters as their fitness declines in their 50s.”

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.