FIREFIGHTERS have today issued notice of further strike action claiming that the Government has not improved their pension proposals.
Union chiefs say the current plans “unworkable” meaning that firefighters will still face dismissal because they cannot maintain the physical fitness levels for the role until they are 60.
They say that if firefighters opt for early retirement the reduction in their pension would be “unacceptably high”.
Matt Wrack general secretary of the FBY said: “It is absolutely ludicrous that a Government can impose a scheme which means that firefighters will have to ride engines and rescue people from fires up to age 60.
“This is unsafe and unrealistic for both firefighters and the public. We know it and the public know it but the Government will not listen to the evidence based case we have made to them.”
They said that the government has costed proposals for firefighters to retire aged 55 but has not offered these plans for consideration.
This would mean say unions that firefighters taking early retirement would get a reduced pension but less than they would under current proposals.
Sean Starbuck FBU national officer said: “It’s extremely disappointing that we have had to issue more strike dates but the government are simply not listening to our concerns.
“We have a new fire minister but to date she doesn’t appear to have listened to our case.
“The government still has an opportunity to improve their offer which could avoid the need for action.
“Firefighters are angry as the Westminster government claims we don’t want to resolve this dispute.
“This is absurd as the situation both in Scotland and N Ireland shows this is simply not the case.”
The strikes will take place for eight days from Saturday 9 August until Saturday 16 August between 12pm and 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59pm.