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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Cumbria firefighters to join strike over pensions

Firefighters in Cumbria are poised to continue their campaign of industrial action with another national strike planned for today.

The strike is planned for between 6.30pm and 12.30am, says the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), whose members will also walk out between 6.30am and 8.30am on Friday, January 3.

Cumbrian officials from the union have repeatedly said that their members are determined to carry on with the fight to protect their pension – despite the Government’s refusal to back down on raising the retirement age for firefighters from 55 to 60.

forced The union fears firefighters who are unable to continue working until they are 60 may be forced out.

A few weeks ago, council officials warned Cumbrians to take extra precautions against fire during the strikes.

They have pointed out that even during the strike firefighters will turn out to tackle any major incident.

There is also another firefighters’ strike planned to take place between 6.30am and 8.30am on Friday January 3.

During the last strike earlier in December, 66 of Cumbria’s 600 operational firefighters took part on the first day, and 78 on the second.

The FBU’s general secretary, Matt Wrack, said: “Firefighters provide a first-class standard of service 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and these strikes will remind government just how reliant they are on our members’ professionalism, commitment and flexibility.

“However, there should be no need for industrial action, and it’s absurd that firefighters’ concerns over pensions have not been addressed already..”

As with previous strikes, the striking FBU members in England and Wales will stop work apart from those working in control centres. The FBU says that many firefighters face an additional threat to their pensions as a result of the government refusing to honour long-standing agreements.

As a result, they will not receive the pension they were promised despite paying into their scheme for years.

Fire Minister Brandon Lewis has described the strike as “completely unnecessary”.

Last month, he said: “The deal being offered to firefighters gives them one of the most generous pension schemes in all the public sector.

“A firefighter who earns £29,000, and retires after a full career aged 60, will get a £19,000 a year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension. An equivalent private pension pot would be worth over £500,000 and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.”

Have your say

I fully support the fire fighters 100% for going on strike over this issue of pensions plus other issues.
Yes, fire fighters keep up the good work at sticking up for your pension rights because I am-as well as countless other people-are right behind you.
Strike action is the only way to fight back & defeat this government on this matter because they (the government) are carrying out full scale attacks upon not just fire fighters but all workers & benefit claimants as well.
I long for the day ALL workers to go on strike to bring this government down-it can be done-think about it!

Posted by Charlie on 31 December 2013 at 16:29

Very misguided figures you have there this does not take into account Firefighters off shift at the time of the strike action whom are unaccountable, three other watches county wide plus on call staff who choose to book off call as opposed to supporting their colleagues
You imply in the write up they have no support which is not true !!!

Posted by Angry wife on 31 December 2013 at 14:02

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