Firefighters get set for strike in pensions row

Opening of Weatherfield Weather Station
Opening of Weatherfield Weather Station

Firefighters in Eastbourne and the surrounding area are staging another day long strike next Saturday (June 21) as part of their ongoing dispute with the government over the future of their pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union from the Community Fire Station in Whitley Road also walked out yesterday (Thursday) from 9am for a day of industrial action. Next Saturday’s strike, from 10am to 5pm, is part of a nationwide picket.

More than a dozen walk-outs have taken place since last September. Government wants firefighters to work up to 60 rather than retire at the age of 55, as they currently do.The FBU says Whitehall is also proposing that contributions firefighters pay towards their pension from their salary increase to 14.2 per cent, the current rate being 13.2. Union bosses also believe it is impractical for firefighters to work beyond the age of 55 which they said is backed up by the Anthony Williams report, commissioned by the Government itself.

Mark Brown from the union said, ”We have reached an impasse with negotiations and are left with no choice but to show our frustration through industrial action.” Fire service chief Des Prichard said, “We won’t have as many crews available as usual.”