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Firefighters prepare for 24-hour walkout

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 06, 2014

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FIREFIGHTERS across Burton and South Derbyshire are set to strike for 24 hours in a continuing row over pensions and work conditions.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) revealed that crews will down tools from 9am on Thursday, June 12 – the longest in a three-year battle with the Government over getting a better deal for firefighters.

Proposals are also in place for another strike from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, June 21 and between both strikes firefighters will not carry out any voluntary overtime

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “Concerns over these unworkable proposals remain as valid and grave as ever, and the Government has ignored all the evidence including it’s 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.”

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.

The government’s own report, published in December 2013 found that large numbers of firefighters would be unable to maintain operational fitness until 60.

The two strikes will be the 13th and 14th over pensions.

The first was on Thursday, September 24, 2013.

Now, Staffordshire’s chief fire officer is urging people to be extra vigilant during the strikes.

Chief fire officer Peter Dartford said: “It is very disappointing that another strike, consisting of two separate periods, has been announced.

“As before, we will be putting contingency plans in place to provide the best possible emergency response cover for the people of Staffordshire.

“However, it will not be business as usual and, due to reduced capacity, it is more vital than ever for people to be careful and to really think about their actions and potential consequences.

“People have taken our warnings on board during previous strikes and I would urge them to do so again this time around. Take extra care on the roads, ensure your smoke alarms are working and be cautious while cooking.”

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