Support for fire strikers

This Is Wiltshire: Kate Linnegar of Swindon People’s Assembly, front, with picketing firefighters at Drove Road Fire Station yesterday Kate Linnegar of Swindon People’s Assembly, front, with picketing firefighters at Drove Road Fire Station yesterday

ACTIVISTS rallied behind striking firefighters in Swindon as they protested against a government move to raise retirement age and increase pension contributions.

Swindon People’s Assembly joined picketers outside Drove Road Fire Station yesterday, offering them homemade cakes, as they took a stand against what they described as unfair and unsafe plans.

The Fire Brigades Union launched fresh strike action on Saturday last week. Since then, members have been leaving their posts for three hours every day and will continue to do so until the weekend.

Kate Linnegar, a member of Swindon People’s Assembly, said: “We thought we ought to come down and show our support.

“When people go for jobs they look at things like what pensions they are going to get and the retirement age. These people signed up to a job and to have all this taken away from them is completely wrong. It’s a life plan and they are trying to take it away.

“I think we should support them in making a stand. If we let the Government get away with this, what else are they going to start chipping away at?”

The first round of industrial action began last year following a dispute over government plans to increase the amount of pension contributions to £4,000 a year and raise the retirement age from 55 to 60.

The union and coalition failed to reach an agreement despite several attempts at negotiations.

Firefighter Andy Thompson said: “Support from the public has been really well received by firefighters.

“We are very grateful for the support.

“Everybody realises that we don’t want to strike. But we are being forced into it by the Government. We are not asking for anything extra; we just want what we signed up for.”

The FBU branch representative for Chippenham added: “There is an issue of capability. This plan will make firefighters work until they are 60, when it’s unsafe not only for firefighters but the public they serve.

“Who wants to be rescued by a 60-year-old firefighter? It’s unworkable.

“The Government has been dragging its heels for a long time.

“There is now a new fire minister and we can only hope that the Government see sense.”

Comments (10)

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11:45am Thu 14 Aug 14

trolley dolley says...

The Fire brigades union should stop putting children's lives at risk with their repeated strikes. I think local people have got their message.

The FBU branch representative for Chippenham is quoted as saying,
“Who wants to be rescued by a 60-year-old firefighter".

Well I don't think it matters how old the fire fighter is so long as they are fit to do the job, in fact I would not mind if it was not a fire fighter.
The Fire brigades union should stop putting children's lives at risk with their repeated strikes. I think local people have got their message. The FBU branch representative for Chippenham is quoted as saying, “Who wants to be rescued by a 60-year-old firefighter". Well I don't think it matters how old the fire fighter is so long as they are fit to do the job, in fact I would not mind if it was not a fire fighter. trolley dolley
  • Score: 3

12:59pm Thu 14 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

trolley dolley wrote:
The Fire brigades union should stop putting children's lives at risk with their repeated strikes. I think local people have got their message.

The FBU branch representative for Chippenham is quoted as saying,
“Who wants to be rescued by a 60-year-old firefighter".

Well I don't think it matters how old the fire fighter is so long as they are fit to do the job, in fact I would not mind if it was not a fire fighter.
There seems to be some sort of mental block when it comes to change. as we are living longer we are staying fitter longer so it stands to reason they will be able to do things for longer than they could before. Everyone else is looking at retiring and receiving their pension later why not them?

They have the best pension around (no other final salary scheme gets a 2/3rd's pension for 30 years service, most are either 2/3rds after 40 years or 1/2 after 40 years). Under current proposals and the cost to someone not in a final salary scheme providing the same level of pension, it works out that the taxpayer is contributing over £1/4million for each one! Add to that the millions of people out there who signed up to good schemes that have now closed and will have to work far longer than they planned when they signed up for their job probably for less of a pension.

Sorry these guys are just out of touch with how the world has changed and that they have to change too as everyone else does. There are no (and should be no) special cases. The taxpayer is not a bottomless pit!
[quote][p][bold]trolley dolley[/bold] wrote: The Fire brigades union should stop putting children's lives at risk with their repeated strikes. I think local people have got their message. The FBU branch representative for Chippenham is quoted as saying, “Who wants to be rescued by a 60-year-old firefighter". Well I don't think it matters how old the fire fighter is so long as they are fit to do the job, in fact I would not mind if it was not a fire fighter.[/p][/quote]There seems to be some sort of mental block when it comes to change. as we are living longer we are staying fitter longer so it stands to reason they will be able to do things for longer than they could before. Everyone else is looking at retiring and receiving their pension later why not them? They have the best pension around (no other final salary scheme gets a 2/3rd's pension for 30 years service, most are either 2/3rds after 40 years or 1/2 after 40 years). Under current proposals and the cost to someone not in a final salary scheme providing the same level of pension, it works out that the taxpayer is contributing over £1/4million for each one! Add to that the millions of people out there who signed up to good schemes that have now closed and will have to work far longer than they planned when they signed up for their job probably for less of a pension. Sorry these guys are just out of touch with how the world has changed and that they have to change too as everyone else does. There are no (and should be no) special cases. The taxpayer is not a bottomless pit! house on the hill
  • Score: 6

1:04pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Alan Bast*rd says...

I support the fire fighters but think this issue needs resolving quickly. This has dragged on for too long now and the publics support will not last if this isn't sorted out.
I support the fire fighters but think this issue needs resolving quickly. This has dragged on for too long now and the publics support will not last if this isn't sorted out. Alan Bast*rd
  • Score: 1

1:11pm Thu 14 Aug 14

back_to_reality says...

Er, Bast*rd, there is no public support. These idiots are way out of touch and a few rent-a-protest lefties and gonna change that.
Er, Bast*rd, there is no public support. These idiots are way out of touch and a few rent-a-protest lefties and gonna change that. back_to_reality
  • Score: 2

1:23pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Alan Bast*rd says...

back_to_reality wrote:
Er, Bast*rd, there is no public support. These idiots are way out of touch and a few rent-a-protest lefties and gonna change that.
Yes there is some public support. It is an issue that splits opinion though. Some support and some don't. It's not one way or the other.
[quote][p][bold]back_to_reality[/bold] wrote: Er, Bast*rd, there is no public support. These idiots are way out of touch and a few rent-a-protest lefties and gonna change that.[/p][/quote]Yes there is some public support. It is an issue that splits opinion though. Some support and some don't. It's not one way or the other. Alan Bast*rd
  • Score: 1

2:27pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Sandor Clegane says...

There is very little 'public' support, other than from other public sector workers, union types and the usual anti-government (regardless of the issue at hand) Labour crowd.

The general public doesn't really see why they should get massive pensions and retire at 55 when the majority of them wouldn't have to do physical tasks at that age and will likely go into further employment after they 'retire' in any case.

If they don't like the pay, conditions or what they are expected to do in their roles, they are entirely free to find employment elsewhere - just like the rest of us do.
There is very little 'public' support, other than from other public sector workers, union types and the usual anti-government (regardless of the issue at hand) Labour crowd. The general public doesn't really see why they should get massive pensions and retire at 55 when the majority of them wouldn't have to do physical tasks at that age and will likely go into further employment after they 'retire' in any case. If they don't like the pay, conditions or what they are expected to do in their roles, they are entirely free to find employment elsewhere - just like the rest of us do. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

3:33pm Thu 14 Aug 14

macreduk says...

Some astonishing comments on here.
This might be helpful....
FACT- fire pensions are changing- they will not be final salary, instead moving over to career average
FACT- they will be paying more around 14.2%
FACT- lowest employer contributions of any pension provider ( it's only lower where there is none at all, private or public) in other words where there is a company scheme, most employers pay more than 1:1

People are living longer, but does that mean they can still do that job, Government report and recent Bath university study says - NO

Maybe there should be no pension? A government that has just introduced auto enrolment to encourage us to save for retirement but can't offer a fit for purpose pension for firefighters, how wrong is that.

Fire pensions are an occupational pension scheme , in other words it should reflect the job done, not the job done by someone else down the road. It's scheme design needs to consider the length of career, inputs and outputs. We don't want old codgers filling jobs they can't physically do just to make a poorly designed pension scheme work. Do we?

Judging by done cynical posts above, motivated by???? Maybe they do

Good luck firefighters, most of us are behind you, just generally too busy to post. After reading some ill advised stuff above felt I had to.
Some astonishing comments on here. This might be helpful.... FACT- fire pensions are changing- they will not be final salary, instead moving over to career average FACT- they will be paying more around 14.2% FACT- lowest employer contributions of any pension provider ( it's only lower where there is none at all, private or public) in other words where there is a company scheme, most employers pay more than 1:1 People are living longer, but does that mean they can still do that job, Government report and recent Bath university study says - NO Maybe there should be no pension? A government that has just introduced auto enrolment to encourage us to save for retirement but can't offer a fit for purpose pension for firefighters, how wrong is that. Fire pensions are an occupational pension scheme , in other words it should reflect the job done, not the job done by someone else down the road. It's scheme design needs to consider the length of career, inputs and outputs. We don't want old codgers filling jobs they can't physically do just to make a poorly designed pension scheme work. Do we? Judging by done cynical posts above, motivated by???? Maybe they do Good luck firefighters, most of us are behind you, just generally too busy to post. After reading some ill advised stuff above felt I had to. macreduk
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Hangbrownhigh says...

I pity these fire fighters having to recruit the loony left rent a mob crowd. It only shows how out of touch they are that they need these nutters to be in on the act. Do they know that they are reputed to be Hamas supporters and believe in the likes of Galloway and Ward?
I pity these fire fighters having to recruit the loony left rent a mob crowd. It only shows how out of touch they are that they need these nutters to be in on the act. Do they know that they are reputed to be Hamas supporters and believe in the likes of Galloway and Ward? Hangbrownhigh
  • Score: 2

5:35pm Thu 14 Aug 14

trolley dolley says...

macreduk says...

"We don't want old codgers filling jobs they can't physically do just to make a poorly designed pension scheme work. Do we?"

You are absolutely correct.

We want people who are willing and able to do the job. If you are not fit enough to continue in the job, then it is time to go and if you are unhappy in the job, get something else.

Fire fighters have no God given right to expect special treatment, keep fit or leave.

For a few posters to say the public are behind you is a little optimistic, there are many people who are sick and tired of the whinging and moaning.

It would have been good for your image if you could have put out the fire at the tip but maybe you are a little busy just now with your strikes.
macreduk says... "We don't want old codgers filling jobs they can't physically do just to make a poorly designed pension scheme work. Do we?" You are absolutely correct. We want people who are willing and able to do the job. If you are not fit enough to continue in the job, then it is time to go and if you are unhappy in the job, get something else. Fire fighters have no God given right to expect special treatment, keep fit or leave. For a few posters to say the public are behind you is a little optimistic, there are many people who are sick and tired of the whinging and moaning. It would have been good for your image if you could have put out the fire at the tip but maybe you are a little busy just now with your strikes. trolley dolley
  • Score: 2

10:12am Fri 15 Aug 14

messyits says...

More facts--less fiction please!
More facts--less fiction please! messyits
  • Score: -1

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