Firefighters plan fourth strike in pension debate

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Firefighters will strike for a fourth time later this month as the argument over pensions rages on.

The industrial strike action will take place between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday, November 13 and comes following the Government’s decision to withdraw proposals on firefighters taking their pension before 60.

The Fire Brigade’s Union (FBU) argue that firefighters are likely to experience a decline in fitness in their 50s, meaning they would be unlikely to meet the standards required in the service.

In addition to the strike, the FBU announced the start of a further ballot for other forms of industrial action, which will close on December 4.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said, “Our members enter burning buildings for a living and will not be intimidated by the government’s decision to worsen their proposals. This latest attack will simply harden the resolve of firefighters.

“Ministers continue to ignore the professional, evidence-based case firefighters have presented over the past three years and refuse to establish an affordable occupational pension scheme which reflects the occupation of firefighting.

“There seems to be little or no understanding of what our members actually do or the standards they are required to meet.”

A statement from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service read, “Our emergency cover plans during the strike remain the same. Crews made up of non-FBU members and retained firefighters will respond to emergencies - giving priority to those where lives are at risk.”

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said, “During the previous strikes, we attended only a small number of emergencies. Our advice to members of the public remains the same. If you have a fire, get out, stay out and dial 999.”