Firefighters will stage 24 hour strike

12 February 2015 The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced a further 24-hour strike over pensions.

12 Feb 2015| News

12 February 2015

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced a further 24-hour strike over pensions.

The FBU held a recall conference in Manchester this week. Following the conference, it has been confirmed that further strike action will take place.

The FBU has also criticised parliament being deliberately misled over the pensions issue. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said;

“Firefighters are outraged at the behaviour of the Westminster fire minister Penny Mordaunt and her boss Eric Pickles, who misled Parliament by falsely claiming that they had introduced a statutory guarantee that a firefighter failing a fitness test through no fault of their own would receive a full and unreduced pension.

“After investigation, it is now clear beyond doubt that no fire service employer agrees that any such guarantee exists. The response from the fire service employers have shown very clearly that Parliament has been misled to allow the government to force through attacks on firefighter pensions”.

MPs backed plans to make firefighters work until they are 60 and to increase their pension contributions by 313 votes to 261 in December. However, they had been falsely reassured that no firefighter who failed the fitness test would receive a reduced pension.

Firefighters already contribute one of the highest proportions of their salary towards their pensions, with contribution rises over the last three years.

The FBU said two in three firefighters all not meet the current fitness standard by the time they reach 60.

Central government funding for the Fire & Rescue service is being cut by 25 percent over four years and 1,500 firefighter positions were cut in the first year of the coalition government alone. 70 fire stations have been flagged for closure, clearly putting public safety at risk. Response times are two minutes slower than they were ten years ago.