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Firefighters 'won't have strength to save people at 60'

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said:

It is regrettable that the Government is still not listening to its own advice or the concerns of firefighters, and is set on imposing these ill-thought out pension changes.

Firefighters do incredibly dangerous and demanding jobs. The public - which has nothing but the utmost respect for our emergency services - will be at a loss to understand why ministers think that at 60 firefighters will still have the necessary strength and stamina to rescue people from burning buildings.

Firefighters strike for 24 hours over pensions

From 9am today, firefighters across England and Wales will stage a 24-hour strike today in their long-running dispute with the Government over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union in England and Wales will stop work from 9am in the first 24-hour stoppage of their campaign. Credit: PA

Another strike will be held on June 22 as their dispute over pension reforms and retirement age remains deadlocked.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack accused the Government of refusing to negotiate, adding that firefighters were determined to continue with their campaign.

Firefighters have been warned by the union that they face significant pensions cuts and working until later in life before retiring.


Strike action 'will damage reputation of teaching'

Strike action will damage the reputation of teaching, a Department for Education spokeswoman has said, as the National Union of Teachers are today expected to back fresh walkouts in the summer if progress is not made in resolving a bitter dispute over pay, pensions and conditions.

Ministers have met frequently with the NUT and other unions and will continue to do so. Further strike action will only disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession.

We know that the vast majority of our teachers and school leaders are hard-working and dedicated professionals. That is why we are giving teachers more freedoms than ever and cutting unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy.

– Spokeswoman, Department for Education

NUT defend timing of potential teachers' strike

An advanced GCSE maths extension paper set by one exam board is scheduled to take place on Wednesday June 25, during a potential teachers' strike.

Exam timetables show that at least a dozen GCSE and A-level papers are due to be sat by students on the first two days of the week proposed in the National Union of Teacher's resolution. NUT general secretary Christine Blower said:

This week has been deliberately chosen because we believe that there will be no exams beyond those dates.

Strike action will not disrupt exams. If necessary, exemptions can be given got staff who are needed to supervise an exam, but the NUT is looking to take action at the end of the main exam season.

Teachers to debate strike action over pay

Teachers are today expected to back fresh walkouts in the summer if progress is not made in resolving a bitter dispute over pay, pensions and conditions.

Teachers to debate over strike action Credit: PA

Delegates at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) annual conference in Brighton are due to debate a priority motion seeking co-ordinated national strike action in the week beginning Monday June 23.

The move comes just weeks after the NUT staged a national walkout, and raises the prospect of widespread disruption to thousands of schools in England and Wales in the summer term.


Firefighter strike vote result due over pension row

The Government will hear this week if it faces the threat of the first national firefighters' strike for a decade, in a row over pensions.

Government will hear this week if it faces the threat of the first national firefighters' strike for a decade. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Members of the Fire Brigades Union have been voting on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action, with the result due at the end of the week.

The union said planned changes were "unaffordable and unworkable", would impose an increase in members' contributions and would put firefighters at greater risk of dismissal without access to a proper pension if they cannot maintain fitness standards as they approach the retirement age of 60.

PCS union in talks with others over general strike

Mark Serwotka (pictured) is negotiating details of a general strike. Credit: PA

A union leader has confirmed he is in talks with counterparts about staging a general strike.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), said discussions were under way about action that would show people can "fight back".

It comes after it emerged last week that Unite had submitted documents to the TUC calling for a 24-hour general strike against austerity measures.

Ambulance drivers to strike in cuts row

Ambulance drivers will go on strike today in a bitter row over cuts and union recognition.

Staff and paramedics will mount picket lines outside ambulance stations across the county.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust will go on strike today. Credit: PA

Unite said its 450 members at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust will walk out for 24 hours after the failure to break the deadlock.

Members of other unions are not involved in the action and will be working normally to provide emergency cover and other services.

Unite said it was de-recognised after raising concerns about patient safety over plans to make savings of £46 million over the next five years.

The union said there were proposals to employ emergency care assistants, with only a few weeks training, alongside paramedics.

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