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Firefighters could strike over Christmas and New Year

By Reportergrace  |  Posted: December 16, 2013

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Comments (15)

Lincolnshire fire crews could take part in more industrial action during the Christmas holiday period.

The Fire Brigades Union have announced a national strike will take place on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and January 3 in response to an ongoing dispute over pensions.

It has not yet been confirmed whether local firefighters will be involved in the walk-out.

Last week Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue took part in two evening strikes, both of which passed off without major incident.

During industrial action, skeleton crews respond to emergency calls, but do not attend automated fire alarm call-outs.

The national Christmas strike will last from 7pm until midnight on December 24, while the New Year walk-out will last from 6:30pm until 12:30am.

On January 3 there will be a morning strike from 6:30-8:30am.

Union representatives claim that more action is necessary because negotiations with the government have been unproductive.

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15 comments

  • Surfinimp  |  December 19 2013, 12:36AM

    @sadimp The Governent have just brought in new legislation from October stating that all companys now have to offer a Pension scheme as part of their contract of employment. The Firefighters pension scheme was part of the Employment package to make it attractive for the right people to apply for the job. A decent pension scheme was part of the contract for the job. Whats happening now is that the Goverment want to rip up that contract, move the goalposts as well as the playing field, whilst refusing to negoiate or enter any discussions, forcing firefighters into inferior conditions or as you suggest into private pension payments but with far worse conditions and pay outs when they mature...and also making it far cheaper when they decide tp Privatise the whole service. I will wager you that if this appalling Coalition continues or the Tories are re elected in 2015 and these reforms go through, the Fire Service will be put up for privatisation within 2 years, leading to (like all recent privatisations) a poorer service, poorly paid staff, low moral and more loss of public money Merry Xmas , and 3 points on Boxing Day

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  • Anon51  |  December 18 2013, 6:57PM

    Its alright the poor sods which are known as the armed forces, the ones who have also had their pay frozen and their pensions hit, but can't strike will probably pick up the slack AGAIN, you guys have a great XMAS!

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  • sadimp  |  December 18 2013, 6:42PM

    Good comment Surfimp however I'll agree to disagree. I don't know all the facts although I agree it would not be fair to dismiss personnel based on the fitness test for Firefighters already in the system. Put them in administration if they are not fit enough to climb ladders, hold hoses etc. That way they can keep their job and pension. I still suggest all firefighters look after themselves and not rely on the government for a pension. You've said yourself you can't trust the government, so why keep giving 14% of your pay each month to a body you can't trust? Up the Imps Merry Christmas

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  • Surfinimp  |  December 18 2013, 5:09AM

    Fire fighters have been used as whipping boys for the government for years. Year on year on year complete pay freezes they have accepted. And the last two years they have accepted only 1%. Now the Governement want to implement a fitness test of Max VO2 which naturally declines with age so testing a Firefighter at 50+ against standards for a 25 year old will only mean one thing (planned) dismissal. Dismissal without a pension or any money until 67. Firefighters pay nearly 14% (on the old scheme) into their pension- the highest of any. There is a new pension scheme that offers less but Firefighters on the old pension scheme are being forced onto the new one and will be paying more for less and working longer (some an extra unplanned 10years). If I changed my conditions of my pension half way through- say pay less for more and retire earlier I would be told quote rightly to get stuffed as I signed up to deal. Let the old scheme run its time as in the future everyone will be on the new scheme anyway. Now the MPs have given themselves a 25% increase for their pensions! The money for the pensions has been gambled away by bankers. The deregulation of the financial sector my Margaret Thatcher is to blame. But without getting in politics the MPs are bullying the Firefighters (and other public servants) and using them as whipping boys. This is whilst they increase their own wages and pension then spout we're all in it together! The culture of Britain today is a sad one. No-one holds any value for the jobs others do anymore. There is attitude of looking at what others have got and what they haven't- very sad. Good luck to Firefighters, Teachers, Posties etc. for standing up to them. Privatisation of the Fire Service is soon on the agenda so be very afraid, very afraid and hope Firefighters have the will left in them to fight this too.

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  • InsideStory  |  December 17 2013, 6:36PM

    It is my belief that the Firefighters should be very careful about striking you only have to look how many professions have been privatised by the conservative's for their history of striking Miners,bus industry,Royal mail,utility's and other's ,it may seem very unlikely but it could be done. The conservatives have never liked an insubordinate workforce. They dont like being made to look foolish .

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  • sadimp  |  December 17 2013, 3:38PM

    Surfinimp your comments about Long Standing Agreements may be valid however if the firefighters don't have trust in the government regarding pensions, then the simple solution is to do it themselves. All they have to do is go to a bank open a private pension account and start putting a monthly sum away. There are calculations and charts to ascertain over 30 years based on the monthly deposit how much the monthly pension would be. This way the firefighters would have control over their money and the big bad government would not be able to get it's greedy hands on it.

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  • LincsCitizen  |  December 17 2013, 2:11PM

    So what you're saying is, that civil servants have a more than adequate pension? I agree. That is why I think the fire fighters should pick up their tools and get back to work. The more the govt bows in to pressure from the unions the wider that pension gap will be.

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  • screenman  |  December 17 2013, 11:53AM

    Ever heard of the slump in building? where the tradesmen had no work. Civil service pensions are way better than anything self employed or small business workers could get. Yes the civil service path is open to all, but hold on what would happen if everybody worked for the civil service, who would fix your car, build your house etc.

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  • LincsCitizen  |  December 17 2013, 11:48AM

    I don't have the answer to that, but I can tell you that not one of them will strike for a better deal. They will either accept the new terms or leave. I'm sure the pension gap already exists, but surely the civil service career path is open to all? Self employed earnings and private sector wages have been so much higher on average for years. With those extra earnings, I expect people have made provisions for their own pensions.

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  • screenman  |  December 17 2013, 11:18AM

    So that being the case how many will work in an active post until that age. I am self employed so I am envious of any civil service pensions, however there are certain jobs that will be more difficult for older people to do, fire service, front line troops, para medic, brick layer, plasterer etc. There will be a time and maybe it is here already where there will be a them and us pension gap, those that have been self employed or worked for small companies and those that have worked in the civil service.

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