July 4, 2014
Burnham-On-Sea firefighters to hold 15th strike next week

Firefighters in Burnham-On-Sea are set to join thousands of other public sector workers in a one-day strike next week.

The Fire Brigades Union has announced that firefighters in services across England and Wales will join the strike on July 10th as part of a series of disputes with the Government over pay and other issues.

The FBU in particular has been in an ongoing row over pensions stretching into last year, over proposals to increase the contributions firefighters make to their pensions, which the union says could cost £4,000 a year.

The FBU strike will take place between 10am and 7pm and will be the 15th in the firefighters’ campaign. Firefighters in Burnham say they will respond to any serious incidents where lives are at stake.

Brent Thorley, the south west FBU secretary, said: "Our main concern is over pensions, but the day of the strike does coincide with that of many other public workers who are planning to take industrial action on July 10th."

"It's disappointing. Obviously, if negotiations were going well with the Government we would not be announcing industrial action, so it is a bit of a Mexican stand-off."

"I think in Northern Ireland they are approaching a deal and in Scotland they are not striking because they are nearing an acceptable deal. It just seems like the Government in England and Wales, the Government in Westminster, is very reluctant to negotiate a fair deal with us."

The FBU also objects to raising the retirement age to 60, making tough physical tests harder to pass.

On top of that it is objecting to proposals which could see firefighters who do not pass the tests being sacked and unable to claim their pension until they reach the national retirement age of 67.

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service says it has "substantial contingency plans" in place to ensure that it continues to respond to emergency incidents.

More than a million council staff, health workers, teachers and civil servants from across the country are expected to take industrial action on the same day.


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