Fire service left ‘disappointed’ as strikes continue

Following a second ballot on industrial strike action that voted in favour of continuing the strikes, the Fire Brigade’s Union has announced two further periods of strike action to take place this weekend.

The ballot, held on December, 4, was the latest move in the continuing dispute with the Government over pensions. Firefighters that took part in the ballot agreed to continue the strikes, as well as additional non-strike-based forms of action, including the refusal to undertake duties they are not contracted to perform.

As a result, the FBU have announced two periods of industrial strike action - the fifth and sixth since September but the first since the ballot - to take place on Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14 between 6 and 10pm.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said, “This further action is entirely the responsibility of central government.

“We demand that the government sorts out the mess it has got itself into on this issue.

“We cannot stand by and do nothing as our members’ conditions of service are eroded. These strikes are intended to ensure we cannot be ignored.”

The East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are ‘naturally disappointed’ at the result of the ballot and have again urged people to be extra vigilant during the strikes.

A spokesperson for the ESFRS said, “We are naturally disappointed by this result which places additional pressures on the Service and hope that the FBU and Government can bring this dispute to a swift and successful conclusion. Fire cover will inevitably be reduced and we need members of the public to follow the safety advice available on our website and help us to focus our resources where they are most needed.”

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