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Merseyside firefighters walk out in pensions dispute
FIREFIGHTERS across Merseyside have staged two further walkouts as part of an ongoing dispute over pay and pensions.
A five-hour strike by members of the Fire Brigades Union on Friday night was followed by a two-hour walkout this morning.
The action was in response to government plans to make firefighters work up to 60.
Emergency and 999 calls were answered and responded to.
Merseyside’s chief fire officer Dan Stephens said the service had 13 calls during the industrial action on Friday night, including the rescue of a woman from the River Mersey, a kitchen fire, a fire involving an electricity meter in a garage, a number of wheelie bin fires and two false alarms.
This morning there were 22 fire appliances, one aerial appliance and one Prime Mover were available to respond to emergency calls. Normally there are 28.
A spokesman for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service said: "During what is normally a quiet time for the service we received no serious calls and just one false alarm call-out."
The union is campaigning against changes which, it says, will mean firefighters will have to work longer, pay more into their pensions and receive less in retirement.
It argues that the move will also see firefighters having to work on frontline duties until they are 60.
But the Government maintains the changes were fair and would still give firemen and women one of the most generous pensions in the public sector. Union members have argued firefighters working into their late-50s is 'dangerous and unachievable'.
Crews first walked out for four hours on the afternoon of September 25 and October 14.