The leader of the Fire Brigades Union, Matt Wrack, has announced this afternoon that the union will ballot its members for national strike action over government attacks to firefighters’ pensions.
The move comes after a two-year campaign of opposition by the FBU to government attempts to ransack firefighters’ pension schemes, including raising the normal pension age to 60 for thousands of serving firefighters (a move which the union believes would lead to mass ‘capability’ dismissals), to introduce a hike in contributions (meaning that many firefighters will be paying more than £100 extra each month), and forcing through significant reductions in benefits upon retirement.
The ballot will begin on 18 July, with the result being announced on 29 August.
Matt Wrack said: “Expecting large numbers of 60-year-olds to fight fires and rescue families is dangerous to the public and to firefighters. The government is simply ignoring the evidence about the physical demands of firefighting and has been unable to answer our concerns during two years of negotiations.
“None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety. We hope common sense prevails, and the government returns to the negotiating table.”
Further information will be dispatched to members’ home addresses shortly.
Yours in unity