Firefighters set to strike again

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling

Fire chiefs are warning people to take extra care as the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced plans for further industrial action over the dispute with the Government for a new pension scheme.

Fireghters will strike on Friday, May 2, 12pm to 5pm; Saturday, May 3, 2pm to 2am; and Sunday, May 4, 10am to 3pm.

The decision relates to an on-going trade dispute between the FBU and the Government over its proposals to introduce a new Firefighters’ Pension Scheme. It is a national situation, and the dispute is not between West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) and its staff.

However, WYFRS chiefs have expressed disappointment that discussions between the FBU and the Government, following a series of strikes in 2013, have not led to a resolution.

WYFRS Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling, said: “It is disappointing and concerning that negotiations between Government and the FBU have failed to deliver a mutually acceptable resolution to this long running dispute.

“We appeal to both sides to continue discussions with a view to seeking a resolution. Further strikes will only put the public at increased risk.

“For our part, we will continue to deliver the best possible service to protect the people of West Yorkshire, using the same contingency plans which were tried and tested during the last period of industrial action in 2013.

“The three periods of strikes announced by the FBU will take place over a potentially busy weekend prior to the Monday Bank Holiday and we ask people to take extra care at home, at work and when driving. Further fire safety and road safety advice will be issued over the coming days and is available on our website.”

Whilst WYFRS is confident in its contingency plans, the public is asked to do their bit by taking extra care during these periods of reduced cover.