Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting PKNEWS to 80360
Firefighters on strike over New Year
3:00pm Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
Firefighters in England and Wales will walk out on strike again today in their long-running dispute with the government over pensions.
The strike action is set to start this evening at 6.30pm and and is set to end at 12.30am on New Year’s Day
Fire Brigades Union General Secretary, Matt Wrack, said: “Christmas is just an ordinary working time for firefighters, and our members have been on the front line dealing with storms, floods and other emergencies every day.
“None of us wanted these strikes, but firefighters on duty over the festive period don’t have much to celebrate this year as they are being priced out of their pensions and face the sack because the government’s can’t accept that 60 year old men and women can’t meet the same fitness standards as 20 year olds.
“We need to see genuine dialogue and real negotiations to resolve this dispute, so perhaps the prime minister would like to come along to visit firefighters on New Year’s Eve and hear directly why they are so angry?”
The union says most firefighters who take home approximately £1,650 a month already pay £320 or more a month into their pensions, and from April 2014 this would rise for the third year in a row to over £340 a month (£4,000 a year), with many facing a fourth consecutive rise of 2.2 per cent in 2015.
The union argues that evidence suggests that at least two thirds of the current workforce could face either dismissal from the fire service or a reduction in their pensions of almost half because they are unable to maintain the fitness standards required by the fire service beyond the age of 55.
Comments are closed on this article.