17:01 Thursday 05 December 2013

Further fire strikes are announced

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

25/09/13 Fire strikes - Burton and swad fire station, Burton, SwadlincoteFire Brigade Strikes - Burton 25/09/13 Fire strikes - Burton and swad fire station, Burton, SwadlincoteFire Brigade Strikes - Burton

FIREFIGHTERS in Burton and South Derbyshire will strike again in the lead up to Christmas, it has been announced.

Crews in the region are to down tools again over their ongoing dispute with the Government over plans to change the pension age which will see firefighters working until they are 60.

The Fire Brigades Union has delivered on its promise to hold further strikes with firefighters to walk out for four hours on Friday, December 13, from 6pm, and again 24 hours later at what is traditionally their busiest period of the week.

The strikes have so far passed without major incident in Burton and South Derbyshire, but the latest announcement will leave fire service bosses facing an anxious couple of days.

It is the fifth round of strikes to be announced since September.

The FBU said it had called the latest strikes as the Government is ‘ignoring its concerns’.

Union bosses fear that if firefighters fail fitness tests beyond the age of 55 they will be forced out of work due to a lack of operational roles.

The union has insisted that the strikes will continue until they get what they want.

It caused controversy after co-ordinating strikes in the run up to Bonfire Night, and more than a month on an agreement appears no closer.

Barry Downey, secretary for the FBU in Staffordshire, said: “We want to end this dispute around the negotiating table, but as long as the Government in England and Wales remain as they are at the moment we will have no option but to look at further strikes.”

The union’s general secretary Matt Wrack said: “This further action is entirely the responsibility of central government.”

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