Firefighter union announces more strike action

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The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced a further eight day period of strike action.

The strikes over the Government’s planned pension reforms, will take place for from Saturday, August 9, to Saturday, August 16. Members will not work from 12pm to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59pm.

The FBU said the proposals, which would see firefighters unable to claim their pension until they turned 60, are unworkable. There would also be a pension reduction for anyone retiring early.

Sean Starbuck, FBU national officer, says: “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.”

The FBU has said that proposals incorporating flexible retirement options should be included in an improved offer for its members to consider, but as of yet no fresh terms have been forthcoming from Westminster.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Steve Rhodes said: “The series of strike dates the Fire Brigades Union has now announced is a second run of eight days of strikes which are similar in nature to the previous industrial action ending on July 21.

“This new series follows quickly on from the recent action and forms a pattern once again of short but frequent periods, with a two hour strike followed by a one hour period on each of the eight days.

“Contingency arrangements will be put in place to ensure the best fire cover possible is provided to the community of West Yorkshire.

“Providing fire cover continues to challenge West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s ability to deliver a speedy response to the range of emergencies that may occur during the periods of industrial action.

“Community safety is of the utmost importance in our contingency planning. We are working hard to ensure that our prevention, protection and response aspects of service delivery combine to ensure the best level of community safety.

“I would like to reiterate the importance that both the Minister and the Fire Brigades Union seek to resolve this dispute at the earliest opportunity to enable us to return to our normal levels of service.”