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Posted on 6 June 2014 at 11:43 GMT

Firefighters announce one-day strike

Info from the FBU website:

Firefighters in England and Wales will strike again over attacks on their pensions after the government confirmed it would implement a new scheme without further negotiations.

A 24-hour strike - the longest yet in the three-year campaign - will take place from 9am on Thursday 12 June, with another set for 10am-5pm on Saturday 21 June.

In addition, between the two strikes firefighters will not carry out any voluntary overtime - which is routinely needed by many fire and rescue services to maintain fire cover - or conduct training of strikebreakers between the beginning of the first strike and 9am on Sunday 22 June.

The decision to strike was made at a meeting of the FBU's executive council on Wednesday 4 June.

On Tuesday FBU officials had met the fire minister, Brandon Lewis, in the hope that discussion could continue, although their appeal fell on deaf ears.

On Monday 23 May, the minister opened a 'consultation' on their proposals, signalling an end to discussions with firefighters over the scheme.

However, the Department for Communities and Local Government is still refusing to publish alternative, fully-costed proposals that they have admitted to being in possession of since Wednesday 19 March.

As a result, the FBU argues that the firefighters, the public and other parties - including ministers in the Welsh and Scottish governments - are being kept in the dark, and the consultation is rendered meaningless.

Before 2010, firefighters already contributed one of the highest proportions of their salary towards their pensions (11%), and in April this increased for the third year running.

Firefighters typically now pay over 4,000 a year from a 29,000 salary, and the government has announced they will impose another increase in 2015.

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 by Dr Tony Williams, 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 24 September 2013.

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