Firefighters get ready for more strikes

Banbury firefighters picketing during a previous strike in June.
Banbury firefighters picketing during a previous strike in June.

Firefighters are to take a further eight-day period of strike action as the government have not improved their pension proposals.

The current proposals in England and Wales are still unworkable, according to firefighters across the country, who say they will face dismissal because they cannot maintain the high physical fitness requirements necessary for their role until they are 60 years old.

Banbury Fire Station

Banbury Fire Station

The strikes start on Saturday until Saturday, August 16 between noon and 2pm and 10.59pm and 11.59pm.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “It is absolutely ludicrous that a government can impose a scheme which means that firefighters will have to ride engines and rescue people from fires up to age 60.

“This is unsafe and unrealistic for both firefighters and the public. We know it, and the public know it, but the government will not listen to the evidence-based case we have made to them.”

Alternative terms that would mean firefighters could retire with more flexibility from the age of 55 have been considered and costed by the government for more than three months but has not been offered .

The alternative costings, provided by the Government’s Actuary Department and released by the Department for Communities and Local Goverment, show that firefighters who take early retirement would get a reduced pension of around 10 per cent to 13 per cent, rather than the larger reduction that the government currently proposes.

Sean Starbuck, FBU national officer, said: “It’s extremely disappointing that we have had to issue more strike dates but the government are simply not listening to our concerns.

“We have a new fire minister but to date she doesn’t appear to have listened to our case. The government still has an opportunity to improve their offer which could avoid the need for action. Firefighters are angry as the government claims we don’t want to resolve this dispute.”