More strike action for fire service

Firefighters have agreed on a further eight-day period of industrial action.

The Fire Brigades’ Union will strike against proposals in England and Wales which would mean firefighters will face dismissal because they cannot maintain the physical fitness requirements necessary for their role until they are 60.

The proposals would also mean that if firefighters opt for early retirement, the reduction in their pension would be ‘unacceptably high’.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “It is absolutely ludicrous that a government can impose a scheme which means that firefighters will have to ride engines and rescue people from fires up to age 60.

“This is unsafe and unrealistic for both firefighters and the public.

“We know it, and the public know it, but the government will not listen to the evidence based case we have made to them.”

An improved position meaning that firefighters can retire with more flexibility from 55 has been considered and costed by the government for more than three months but has not been offered.

Sean Starbuck, FBU national officer, said proposals incorporating flexible retirement options should be included in an improved offer to the FBU for its members to consider.

“It’s extremely disappointing that we have had to issue more strike dates but the government is simply not listening to our concerns,” he said.

“We have a new fire minister but to date she doesn’t appear to have listened to our case.”

The strikes will be from Saturday, August 9, to Saturday, August 16, from noon to 2pm and 11pm to midnight.