Published:
October 26, 2014
Burnham firefighters set to join four-day strike from Halloween

Firefighters in Burnham-On-Sea are set to join a nationwide strike for four days from 31st October in a row over pensions, the Fire Brigades Union says.

Its members in England will walk out from 6pm, with the strike ending on the evening before Guy Fawkes Night.

The FBU has accused the government of refusing to put forward any new offer despite two months of talks.

Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt said the strike action was "completely unnecessary" and damaged the fire and rescue service's "good reputation".

Union officials say that under the government's proposals, firefighters will have to work until they are 60 instead of 55, pay more into their pensions and get less in retirement.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: "Firefighters are incandescent following two months of negotiations which have led to no new proposals."

"Firefighters will not stand by and see our members' pension rights destroyed by a government which does not give a damn about the safety or wellbeing of firefighters or the long term."

"The public do not want 60-year-olds tackling fires. Everyone understands the stupidity of these plans - except government ministers. We remain committed to resolving this dispute in the interests of our members and the public at large."

According to the FBU, Northern Ireland has offered firefighters a scheme with a normal pension age of 55 and Scotland has offered more protection and a guarantee not to sack firefighters for losing fitness as they get older. Wales is proposing an improved flexible retirement option.

The industrial action over the past 18 months has seen fire authorities spend millions hiring contractors to cover for striking FBU members.

There have been 46 separate periods of strike action in that time. The FBU said it expected about 36,000 firefighters to take part in the coming walkout.

 


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