Lincolnshire firefighters poised for further strikes
Lincolnshire members of the Fire Brigades Union are to walk out on two further strike dates in a national dispute over pensions.
The union has announced further strikes on Friday, November 1 from 6.30pm to 11pm and on Monday, November 4, from 6am to 8am after accusing the Government and fire employers of failing to offer any firm guarantees as a result of pension changes.
Last weekend the FBU postponed a five hour strike after the Government and employers had offered various routes to tackle the issue of firefighters not fit enough to work beyond the current retirement age of 55.
But this week they informed the FBU they could provide none of the necessary guarantees.
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Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: “The FBU has been very reasonable, but we are now faced with broken promises and those in power evading their responsibilities.
“The Westminster government has created this mess, but it is refusing to clear it up. It now recognises the problem, but it won’t provide the legal and financial guarantees firefighters need to ensure they have a job and an unreduced pension in the future.
“Firefighters face the sack towards the end of their career and the loss of their pension. That can’t be right. The employers promised to tackle the issue of firefighters facing the sack for failing fitness tests last week, only to say they can’t offer any guarantees this week. That is simply not the way to run a public service.
“The Government is now making threats to withdraw some of the other concessions they have made this year.
“Their own Williams report shows most firefighters cannot work beyond 55. They are trying to bludgeon firefighters into an unworkable pension scheme. We are not prepared to be bullied.
“Firefighters don’t want to go on strike, but we are left with no option when the Government and the employers refuse to deal with the problems of their own making.”
In addition, the Government is proposing further increases in employee contributions from April 2014.
This will mean a third year of contribution increases and will see the majority of firefighters paying around 14.2 per cent of their salary towards their pensions.
The union says this is among the highest contributions in the public and private sector.