Firefighters announce fourth strike date

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Firefighters today announced that a fourth strike on pensions will take place between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday, November 13.

This follows the decision of the government in Westminster to worsen proposals on firefighter pensions.

In addition the Fire Brigades Union announced the start of a further ballot for other forms of industrial action, which will close on Wednesday 4 December.

A spokesman for the FBU said: “Our members enter burning buildings for a living, and will not be intimidated by the government’s decision to worsen their proposals. This latest attack will simply harden the resolve of firefighters.

“Ministers continue to ignore the professional, evidence-based case firefighters have presented over the past three years and refuse to establish an affordable occupational pension scheme which reflects the occupation of firefighting.

“There seems to be little or no understanding of what our members actually do or the standards they are required to meet.”

On the new ballot for further industrial action, they said: “Although we still hope the government returns to negotiations, our members have told us that they are prepared for a long, hard campaign if necessary.

“As a result we are now balloting for further forms of industrial action.

“The fire and rescue service is totally reliant on the goodwill of firefighters on the front line. Many are now performing additional duties and additional hours as a result of central government funding cuts.

“There is precious little goodwill left in view of these attacks and that I am confident that will be reflected in this further vote.

“I urge the government to come back and talk about all the issues in dispute.”

Fire Minister, Brandon Lewis, told firefighters on Friday that he had withdrawn June proposals on firefighters taking their pension before 60.

The FBU has argued that firefighters are likely to experience a decline in fitness in their 50s, meaning that they would be unlikely to meet the fitness standards required in the fire service.

Chief Fire Officers last week highlighted that the government’s proposals would mean firefighters facing a choice between the loss of almost half their pension or dismissal for failing to reach the standards.