FIREFIGHTERS in East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire will undertake a further eight days of industrial action as the dispute over changes to their pensions continues.
The strikes will begin on Saturday, August 9 continuing until August 16 and will take place between noon and 2pm, as well as 10.59pm until 11.59pm. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says that the current proposals in England and Wales are still unworkable as firefighters face dismissal because they are unable to maintain the level of physical fitness required to continue working until they are 60.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack has described the government's proposals as 'unsafe and unrealistic for both firefighters and the public' continuing: "We know it and the public know it, but the government will not listen to the evidence based case we have made to them."
However, on a recent visit to Burton, Staffordshire's chief fire officer Peter Dartford said that 'strikes achieve very little' as the government are not prepared to go to the negotiating table while industrial action is being taken, although he did express sympathy with striking firefighters.
Barry Downey, secretary of the FBU in Staffordshire says that it is time the government took notice of their counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland and listened to what the firefighters have to say. He told the Mail: "They have been successful in negotiating terms and will not be on strike and that has left firefighters in England feeling angry.
"We've been attempting to negotiate a fair deal for nearly three years now and it did look like we were getting somewhere back in March before the talks broke down. We feel that taking further industrial action is the only way that what we want will be heard."