Firefighters to stage two strikes over pensions dispute

Stourbridge News: Firefighters to stage two strikes over pensions dispute Firefighters to stage two strikes over pensions dispute

FIREFIGHTERS across Dudley and Sandwell will be striking again due to the ongoing battle with the Government over pay and pensions.

The Fire Brigades’ Union has announced its members will walk out for 24 hours from 9am on Thursday (June 12).

Another strike planned for Saturday June 21 between 10am and 5pm.

In addition to this, between the two strikes firefighters will not carry out any voluntary overtime — which is routinely needed by many fire and rescue services to maintain fire cover — or conduct training of strikebreakers between the beginning of the first strike and 9am on Sunday June 22.

The industrial action has been called after the government confirmed it would implement a new scheme without further negotiations.

Under the government’s proposals, firefighters who are forced to retire before the age of 60 as a result of ageing will have half of their pension taken away.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said discussions with fire minister, Brandon Lewis had “fell on deaf ears”.

He added: “The minister has decided to bury his head in the sand, but he must accept that firefighters simply will not give up fighting for their futures — and our fire and rescue service.

“Concerns over these unworkable proposals remain as valid and grave as ever and the government has ignored all the evidence, including its own reports.

“It is as ever a difficult decision for us to take, but the only way for us to resolve this unnecessary and costly dispute is for the government to start listening to reason.”

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