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Firefighters to strike

Firefighters are to strike for four hours next Wednesday in a row over pensions, the Fire Brigades Union said. Almost 80% voted in favour of industrial action in a ballot earlier this month.

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Why are firefighters going on strike?

The Fire Brigades Union says thousands of firefighters could face the sack without access to a proper pension simply because they are getting older:

  • The Government has made what it called a "generous" offer to release full pensions to firefighters when they reach the age of 60.
  • However, a recent review found that more than half of firefighters over 50 are not able to meet fire and rescue service fitness standards.
  • The Government previously claimed older firefighters could be moved to less physically demanding roles.
  • The FBU says there will be very few "redeployment" opportunities, making mass sackings inevitable.
  • The union says many staff could lose about 50 percent of their pension as a result.
  • Firefighters already pay some of the highest pension contributions in the UK, with the majority paying almost 13% of their salary.

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