Fire Brigades Union set to strike

In a protest against government plans regarding pensions, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) are set to strike next month. Jon Ashby reports.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service. Photo: Cl1kr via Flickr

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service. Photo: Cl1kr via Flickr

The coalition government is putting forward plans for firefighters to work until the age of 60. However, the FBU has stressed that it is unfair to expect firefighters to have to work until this age in order to be able to claim their pension.

Matt Wrack, the FBU general secretary said: “Firefighters face the sack towards the end of their career and the loss of their pension. That can’t be right.

“The employers promised to tackle the issue of firefighters facing the sack for failing fitness tests last week, only to say they can’t offer any guarantees this week. That is simply not the way to run a public service.”

Despite these planned strikes however, which are set to take place on 1st November from 18:30-23:00 and 4th November from 06:00-08:00, Dave Ramscar, Chief Fire Officer at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, has insisted that the back-up plans in place will be more than adequate.

“Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue have plans in place to ensure that we continue to provide an emergency response within the county,” said Ramscar.

“We accept that any planned industrial action will impact on our ability to deliver business as usual, but we are confident that the implementation of our plans will enable us to continue to answer 999 calls and to respond to incidents as quickly as possible.”

A planned five hour strike was set to take place on Saturday 19th October- however this was postponed following a perceived breakthrough in talks.

Now, following the government’s refusal to guarantee that no firefighters would face ‘no job and no pension’ following the changes, the FBU is set to strike for the second time.

Industrial action was first taken on 25th September 2013, when 32,000 FBU members left their posts for four hours.

The effect of next month’s strikes is expected to be more severe however, as the evening strike takes place on the Friday before bonfire night, while Diwali is set to take place on Sunday 3rd November.

Despite the emergency response in place in the event of an emergency, the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service have warned people to take extra care during the striking hours.

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