Firefighters walk out over long-running pension and retirement dispute with Government

Firefighters walk out over long-running pension and retirement dispute with Government

Firefighters walk out over long-running pension and retirement dispute with Government. Pictured are crews from Wallasey.

Fire crews out on strike at Birkenhead.

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

WIRRAL firefighters will walk out this afternoon as part of a three-day strike over pensions.

The industrial action is part of a national strike and has been called by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) following the continuing row about changes to firefighter pensions and retirement age.

Members of the FBU in England and Wales will walk out for five hours from 12pm today, Friday, between 2pm and 2am on May 3 and between 10am and 2pm on May 4.

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

Around 95% of Merseyside’s 760 firefighters are expected to set down their tools as part of the strikes.

But Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service says all 999 calls will still be answered over the Bank Holiday weekend with firefighters who are not members of the FBU on hand to respond to incidents.

Kevin Hughes, chairman of the Merseyside FBU, said: “We are expecting a really good turnout on the picket lines throughout the strikes.”

A spokesman for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said: “The public should be reassured that our staff will maintain a significant emergency response capability during industrial action on May 2, May 3 and May 4 and 999 calls will be answered and responded to.

“We will also continue our community fire safety work – recognising the importance of providing fire safety information at such a time.

“During any industrial action we always ask the public to show extra care and vigilance.”

Merseyside currently has 760 firefighters – down from 1,500 a decade ago.

The strikes come after the Government asked firefighters to work until they are 60 – up from 55 – and union bosses say they need assurances that firefighters who are unable to maintain their fitness until 60 will not be dismissed “on the grounds of capability”.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, added: “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 into 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.

“Nevertheless, we remain totally committed to resolving the dispute through negotiation, and are ready to meet to consider a workable proposal as soon as possible.”

Comments (5)

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7:17pm Fri 2 May 14

bloodtub says...

if so many fire fighters can come out on strike but still cover emergency which is what a fire/crash is why do we need so many
if so many fire fighters can come out on strike but still cover emergency which is what a fire/crash is why do we need so many bloodtub
  • Score: -8

9:02pm Fri 2 May 14

PaulCa says...

Can't shake this image of Bloodtub running away from his house in flames, as firefighters run towards it.
Can't shake this image of Bloodtub running away from his house in flames, as firefighters run towards it. PaulCa
  • Score: 3

9:20pm Fri 2 May 14

Hugo1008 says...

This countrys emergency services are paid a reasonable salary, also recieve above avaerage pensions when they retire, plus have many service benefits during their employment.
In proportion to their total working hours they are called upon a very small amount of time to deal with life threatening situations or extreme danger.
They are able to attend extremely intensive training and education facilities plus have more than adequat provision of expensive equipment, and superb accomodation facilities.
Yet they do not seem to understand they are a comodity like everything else bought and paid for by the general public, tax,and rate paying members of society, the Emergency Services enjoy many benefits fronm not being employed in the commercial world.
So they must understand and accept that if they individually or collectively become not fit for purpose towards the end of their working life, they are still quite well treated and rewarded for the most part.
Would they personaly commit or agree to keep funding and paying out for a comoddity that can no longer fit for purpose.
In the broad commercial and industrial world millions of people eventually become not fit for purpose on a daily basis and just have to accept the situation, what is different for the Emergency Services.
There are an army of Voluntary Emergency Service personel out there doing a sterling job for nothing or very little expenses, I dont hear them moaning, they just get on with what they enjoy and can do for the good of the community and thankfully when you need them they are there, not on strike.
This countrys emergency services are paid a reasonable salary, also recieve above avaerage pensions when they retire, plus have many service benefits during their employment. In proportion to their total working hours they are called upon a very small amount of time to deal with life threatening situations or extreme danger. They are able to attend extremely intensive training and education facilities plus have more than adequat provision of expensive equipment, and superb accomodation facilities. Yet they do not seem to understand they are a comodity like everything else bought and paid for by the general public, tax,and rate paying members of society, the Emergency Services enjoy many benefits fronm not being employed in the commercial world. So they must understand and accept that if they individually or collectively become not fit for purpose towards the end of their working life, they are still quite well treated and rewarded for the most part. Would they personaly commit or agree to keep funding and paying out for a comoddity that can no longer fit for purpose. In the broad commercial and industrial world millions of people eventually become not fit for purpose on a daily basis and just have to accept the situation, what is different for the Emergency Services. There are an army of Voluntary Emergency Service personel out there doing a sterling job for nothing or very little expenses, I dont hear them moaning, they just get on with what they enjoy and can do for the good of the community and thankfully when you need them they are there, not on strike. Hugo1008
  • Score: -3

9:47am Mon 5 May 14

yesandorno says...

fire men .... i dont care if they want a gold plated rolls royce and diamond encrusted toilet seats ..... give em them..
no amount of money could make me do their job.
fire men .... i dont care if they want a gold plated rolls royce and diamond encrusted toilet seats ..... give em them.. no amount of money could make me do their job. yesandorno
  • Score: 2

12:38pm Wed 7 May 14

Roadkill says...

Every employee should have the right to down tools and withdraw their services. The emergency services should be entitled to that as much as any other, and not have to endure ill-informed remarks such as those espoused by folk who, I dare say, would happily cross a picket line if their union called for industrial action.
Every employee should have the right to down tools and withdraw their services. The emergency services should be entitled to that as much as any other, and not have to endure ill-informed remarks such as those espoused by folk who, I dare say, would happily cross a picket line if their union called for industrial action. Roadkill
  • Score: 2

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