Firefighters will strike tonight
Published: 1 Nov 2013 17:30
A day of action was called off on Saturday, October 19, when talks seemed to be making progress but crews have now announced they will stop work from 6.30-11pm today (Friday) and 6-8am on Monday.
The national dispute involves moves to raise the retirement age for firefighters from 55 to 60, which the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) fears will see older members made redundant because they will be declared unfit for service.
Matt Wrack, the FBU general secretary, said: “The FBU has been very reasonable but we are now faced with broken promises and those in power evading their responsibilities.
“Firefighters face the sack towards the end of their career and the loss of their pension. That can’t be right.” FBU Surrey brigade secretary Richard Jones added: “We’re striking because we’re affected by the cuts to our pensions just as all the other crews in the UK are.”
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has contingency arrangements to provide emergency cover during the strikes.
But deputy chief county fire officer Olaf Baars said: “Please only consider calling 999 if there is a genuine need for a fire engine, because we will prioritise calls where a life may be at risk or someone needs to be rescued.”
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