FIREFIGHTERS from across Burton and South Derbyshire are set to walk out on strike for three days next month as part of an ongoing row over pensions.
Crews from fire stations in Burton, Barton under Needwood, Tutbury, Swadlincote and Melbourne will man the picket lines in May after efforts to reach an agreement – over proposals which would see them work until they are 60 to get their full pension – fell apart.
News of the latest strike came on the back of several periods of industrial action throughout 2013 after relations between the Government and firefighters reached breaking point.
Firefighters will strike:
l Between noon and 5pm on Friday, May 2;
l Between 2pm and 2am on Saturday, May 3;
l Between 10am and 3pm on Sunday, May 4.
There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime from 3pm on Sunday, May 4 until noon on Friday, May 9.
Matt Wrack, the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) general secretary, said: “After three years of negotiations and an intense four months presenting an indisputable, evidence-based case of the need to ensure a pension scheme takes into account the unique occupation of firefighting, we feel the Government is still burying its head in the sand.
“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.”
Negotiations between the FBU and the Department for Communities and Local Government have been taking place for three years.
Since the last strike on January 3 2014, both the union and Government have undertaken work examining financial, technical and legal issues.
Fire chiefs in Staffordshire and Derbyshire are now working on plans to make sure disruption is kept to a minimum during the strike periods.