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Four day fire strike called off in Wales

Firefighters have been campaigning against a retirement age increase Credit: FBU

A four day strike by firefighters that was due to affect all English and Welsh fire services won't go ahead in Wales. It will still take place in England, starting on Friday. The Fire Brigades Union says there has been "a significant change of direction" by the Welsh government in a long running pensions dispute.

While the Westminster government continue to ignore the concerns raised by firefighters, the Welsh government have now suggested an improved proposal that could significantly improve the position for a large number of firefighters in Wales. This would involve altering the way firefighters could choose to retire before the age of 60.

– Fire Brigades Union

The UK government wants to raise firefighters' retirement age from 55 to 60, which their union says would leave them facing dismissal if they are no longer physically able to do the job. The FBU expects the UK government to make the change without any further consultation before a vote at Westminster.

Extending the change to Wales would require a vote in the Assembly. The union says it's received a letter from the Welsh Government saying that the new Minister for Public Services, Leighton Andrews, will first consult "on pension scheme design that will differ from the one proposed in England".

This could be a significant improvement for a significant number of firefighters and cannot be ignored. The Welsh Government ... acted ... whilst the Westminster government continues to ignore all the evidence. It does support our view that strike action is avoidable if there is a willingness to do so but the Westminster government doesn’t seem to want that.

– FBU General Secretary Mick Wrack

The union says that suspending strike action in Wales is a temporary measure whilst it waits to see what its Welsh members are offered. Firefighters' terms and conditions are not at present devolved and there have not yet been any detailed discussions about the future position in Wales. The Welsh Government declined to comment.

Firefighters walk out to begin latest series of strikes

Firefighters in Wales and England have begun a fresh series of strikes, walking out for two hours from 12pm.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union are taking industrial action over the next eight days, in a long-running dispute over changes to pensions.

Firefighters in Ely in Cardiff are among those on strike.

The Welsh Government is committed to establishing a pension scheme for firefighters which is affordable, sustainable and fair. Welsh ministers have held regular and constructive meetings with the FBU to discuss pension issues and will continue to do so until the dispute is resolved.

– Welsh Government spokesperson


People told to 'stay alert' during FBU strike action

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to remain vigilant and not become complacent as the Fire Brigades Union stage a fresh series of walk-outs over the next eight days.

The union has been holding series of strikes over the past year in protest against government changes which it maintains will lead to firefighters working longer and having their pensions cut.

We will continue to provide an operational response to those who need our help but it's really important that people do not become complacent and that they stay alert to the risks at home, at work and on the road.

We are now in peak holiday season with many families out and about, on the road, and enjoying the many event and shows that are currently going on across Wales. As a result, the roads are busier and more congested which can be very frustrating for drivers as they get caught up in heavy traffic. Just remember, it's better to get somewhere a little late than not to get there at all.

– ACFO Rob Quin

Firefighters stage more strikes over pensions dispute

The strikes will take place over the next eight days. Credit: PA

Firefighters in Wales are to stage a fresh series of strikes over the next eight days in their long-running dispute over pensions, the Fire Brigades Union has confirmed.

The strike action will take place between 12:00pm - 2:00pm and 22:59pm - 23:59pm each day.

Fire services across the country are urging people to remain vigilant and to take extra care during the strike hours.

Read More: Firefighters announce new strikes for August

Firefighters on strike across Wales

Firefighters face changes to their pensions and retirement age. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Firefighters in Wales are today joining their colleagues in England by going on strike in a continuing row with the UK Government over pensions.

It's the latest in a series of walk-outs. They'll strike for 5 hours starting at 10am.

Fire chiefs have urged people to be extra vigilant, and avoid throwing cigarettes onto grass land, which will be dry because of the current hot weather.

FBU: People need to be 'more careful' during strike action

As firefighters across Wales are preparing to strike in the latest dispute over pensions, Cerith Griffiths from the Fire Brigades Union says people need to be 'that bit more careful'.

The strike, which is due to begin shortly, is the longest in their three year campaign and people are being warned to be aware of the reduced services across the country.


Firefighters to walk out in longest strike in three years

An agreement on firefighters' pensions has still not been reached. Credit: PA

Firefighters will strike for 24 hours over a dispute in pension plans. The Fire Brigades Union has vowed to take action after the government announced it will introduce a new pension scheme without any further negotiations.

The strike scheduled to begin at 9am this morning will mark the longest walk out in three years. Fire Brigade Union members met with the Minister for Local Government, Brandon Lewis, on Tuesday although an agreement is still yet to be reached.

A second planned strike will take place on Saturday 21st June.

Fire Minister: Further firefighter strikes 'unnecessary'

The Fire Minister has described a fresh wave of planned strikes by firefighters as 'unnecessary'.

The deal gives firefighters one of the most generous pension schemes in all the public sector and the proposals protect the earned rights of a higher proportion of members than any other public sector scheme.

Nearly half will see no change and even firefighters who are not protected will see no change until 2015.

Under the new scheme, a firefighter who earns £29k will still be able to retire after a full career aged 60, get a £19k-a-year pension - £26k with state pension.

An equivalent private pension would be worth over half a million pounds and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.

– Fire Minister Brandon Lewis

The minister also accused the Fire Brigades Union of 'not being serious' about finding a resolution to the dispute - which the FBU refutes.

Mr Lewis added that the UK Government has met with the FBU "on many occasions, most recently during April", and has "remained in ongoing communication to find a solution".

Read: FBU accuses UK Government of 'burying its head in the sand'

FBU: UK Government 'burying its head in the sand'

The Fire Brigades Union has accused the UK Government of "burying its head in the sand" in an ongoing dispute over pensions and retirement - but says it remains "totally committed" to finding a resolution.

After three years of negotiations and an intense four months presenting an indisputable, evidence-based case for the need to ensure a pension scheme that takes account the unique occupation of firefighting, the Government is still burying its head in the sand.

Several members of Government were only too keen to praise firefighters during the winter floods, but their words amount to nothing when they simultaneously ignore issues that threaten the future of firefighters and their families.

We are ready to meet to consider a workable proposal as soon as possible.

– Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary

Firefighters to stage further strikes over bank holiday

The Fire Brigades Union and the UK Government are locked in a dispute over pension and retirement proposals Credit: PA

Firefighters in Wales and England will stage fresh strikes over the May Bank Holiday weekend in a long-running dispute with the UK Government over pensions.

Fire Brigades Union members will walk out for five hours from noon on May 2, between 2pm and 2am on May 3 and between 10am and 3pm on May 5.

There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime across Wales and England from 3pm on May 4 until noon on May 9.

Firefighters staged a series of strikes last year in protest at plans for a later retirement age and changes to pensions, but further action was put on hold while talks were held.

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