Wiltshire firefighters set for 24-hour strike
Firefighters in Wiltshire will join a nationwide 24-hour strike next week.
The Fire Brigades Union announced today that firefighters in England and Wales will strike again overa pensions dispute after the Government confirmed it would implement a new scheme without further negotiations.
A 24-hour strike, the longest yet in the three-year campaign, will take place from 9am on Thursday, with another strike set to take place from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, June 21.
Between the two strikes firefighters will also not carry out any voluntary overtime - needed by many fire and rescue services to maintain fire cover - or conduct training of strikebreakers between the start of the first strike and 9am on Sunday, June 22.
On Tuesday FBU officials had met the fire minister, Brandon Lewis, in the hope that discussion could continue.
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “The minister has decided to bury his head in the sand, but he must accept that firefighters simply will not give up fighting for their futures, and our fire and rescue service.
“It is as ever a difficult decision for us to take, but the only way for us to resolve this unnecessary and costly dispute is for the Government to start listening to reason.”
Firefighters typically now pay over £4,000 a year from a £29,000 salary, and the Government has announced they will impose another increase in 2015.
The FBU says increasing numbers of members are considering leaving the pension scheme as a result of its decreasing affordability — posing difficult questions over its sustainability.
Under the government’s proposals, firefighters who are forced to retire before the age of 60 as a result of ageing will have half of their pension taken away.
The two strikes will be the 13th and 14th over pensions, the first being held on Thursday, September 24.