Banbury firefighters are set to strike again

Banbury Fire Station
Banbury Fire Station

Banbury firefighters will once again join other stations across the country and take part in further industrial action over pensions.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have announced the strikes will take place on Friday, May 2 between noon and 5pm, Saturday, May 3 between 2pm and 2am and Sunday, May 4 from 10am to 3pm.

There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime across England and Wales from 3pm on Sunday, May 4 until noon on Friday, May 9.

Richard Hughes, branch secretary of the FBU in Banbury, said: “Firefighters are generally very disappointed after three years of negotiation there are still no offer on the table, even the government have read evidence from their own professors that looked into fitness levels regarding the requirements of firefighters.

“The government are not heeding the advice from their own bodies and are blindly ploughing through these proposals.”

Negotiations between the FBU and the Department for Communities and Local Government - as well as the devolved governments - have been taking place for three years. Since the last strike on January 3, both the union and government have undertaken work examining financial, technical and legal issues.

Following the last meeting of the union’s executive council on April 9 and 10, the union wrote to the minister saying if they had not received any proposals by April 24 they would conclude the government was unwilling or unable to offer any improvements.

At a meeting on April 24 the union’s executive council unanimously decided to take further industrial action.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “After three years of negotiations and an intense four months presenting an indisputable, evidence-based case for the need to ensure a pension scheme that takes into account the unique occupation of firefighting, the government is still burying its head in the sand.

“Several members of government were only too keen to praise firefighters during the winter floods, but their words amount to nothing when they simultaneously ignore issues that threaten the future of firefighters and their families.

“Nevertheless, we remain totally committed to resolving the dispute through negotiation, and are ready to meet to consider a workable proposal as soon as possible.”