Firefighters set to strike over pensions and retirement age
Firefighters will walk out later today in a wave of strikes over pensions and retirement age. Members of the Fire Brigades Union in Wales and England said they would launch industrial action for two hours every day for eight consecutive days.
The Government has criticised the looming firefighters strike as they have "one of the best pensions in the public sector", according to one minister.
Fire Minister Brandon Lewis said:
Firefighters will still have one of the best pensions in the public sector.
New principles on fitness are already on the table with our backing and following a formal public consultation we have decided to make small changes to the scheme which allow us to improve the pension offer for firefighters who retire at age 55 or 56 so they are fairly rewarded, while those who work longer will rightly benefit for doing so.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union in Wales and England will stage short two hour walkouts from today for eight consecutive days, forcing brigades to implement contingency plans.
The dispute has rumbled on for over a year, as firefighters maintain forcing them to work into their 60s will put the public at risk.
London Fire Brigade urged parents to tell their children about the dangers of hoax calls as the industrial action coincides with school holidays.
The capital's fire commissioner Ron Dobson said: "Hoax calls waste our time and resources, but while the FBU is taking strike action and we only have contingency levels of cover it is even more important that we don't get any hoax calls."