Rotherham firefighters prepare for third strike

FIREFIGHTERS will walk out again this evening in the third of four strikes over the festive period.

Rotherham members of the Fire Brigades Union will leave their posts between 6.30pm and 12.30am in a dispute over pension changes.

Another walkout is planned for Friday morning.

The FBU said the fact that firefighters in Kent and Surrey returned to work during a Christmas strike following discussions and agreement with union officials showed they were committed to public safety.

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Fire Brigades Union general secretary, Matt Wrack, said: "Christmas is just an ordinary working time for firefighters, and our members have been on the front line dealing with storms, floods and other emergencies every day.


"None of us wanted these strikes, but firefighters on duty over the festive period don't have much to celebrate this year as they are being priced out of their pensions and face the sack because the Government can't accept that 60 year old men and women can’t meet the same fitness standards as 20 year olds.

“We need to see genuine dialogue and real negotiations to resolve this dispute, so perhaps the prime minister would like to come along to visit firefighters on New Year's Eve and hear directly why they are so angry?”

The union says most firefighters who take home approximately £1,650 a month already pay £320 or more a month into their pensions, and from April 2014 this would rise for the third year in a row to over £340 a month (£4,000 a year), with many facing a fourth consecutive rise of 2.2 per cent in 2015.


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The union said evidence also suggested that at least two thirds of the current workforce could face either dismissal from the fire service or a reduction in their pensions of almost half because they are unable to maintain the fitness standards required by the fire service beyond the age of 55.