Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Suffolk/Essex: Firefighters stage 24-hour strike over pensions and retirement age

11:24 12 June 2014

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales will strike for 24 hours until 9am tomorrow, the longest stoppage in their three year campaign against controversial changes to their pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales will strike for 24 hours until 9am tomorrow, the longest stoppage in their three year campaign against controversial changes to their pensions.

Archant

Firefighters in Suffolk and Essex have walked out on a 24-hour strike amid demands for the Government to take part in a national televised debate on pensions and retirement age.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales will strike for 24 hours until 9am tomorrow, the longest stoppage in their three-year campaign against controversial changes to their pensions.

The action coincides with the start of the World Cup, which has led fire chiefs to urge people not to cook late night meals after watching football on the TV for fear of starting fires in the kitchen.

Another strike will be held on June 22, with the FBU saying it is determined to continue with its campaign.

General secretary Matt Wrack challenged Fire Minister Brandon Lewis to take part in a televised debate on the proposals, which the union says are “unworkable, unaffordable and unfair”.

He said: “The Government is ignoring all the evidence from its own reports on these proposals and has failed to counter our arguments in three years of negotiations.

“Their attacks will radically damage the fire and rescue service and it’s only fair that the public are given a chance to see the minister himself challenged over these ludicrous proposals.

“It’s time for the Government’s spin to end. If he’s confident in his arguments, surely he’ll accept the opportunity for us to both lay our cases out in public?”

The Government maintains that firefighters will continue to receive decent pensions despite its reforms.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “All fire and rescue authorities have robust and well tested plans in place that include back up support if needed. Public safety will remain the primary focus and if anyone needs emergency assistance they should dial 999.

“The Government believes a solution can be reached, but not under the shadow of industrial action, which only serves to damage firefighters’ good standing with the public. By disrupting constructive discussions and an open consultation in this way the FBU has once again shown it is not serious about finding a resolution.

“The deal on the table is fair and gives firefighters one of the most generous pensions in the public sector. Additionally the proposals protect the earned rights of a higher proportion of members than any other public sector scheme.

“Nearly three quarters will see no change in their pension age in 2015. Under the new scheme, a firefighter who earns £29,000 will still be able to retire after a full career aged 60, get a £19,000 a year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension. The equivalent private pension pot would be worth over half a million pounds and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.”

The London fire brigade has urged football fans to order a takeaway if they watch the opening game of the World Cup tonight.

A road/rail vehicle used to install new overhead wires at Shenfield in Essex.

If it’s a bank holiday, Network Rail must be closing the main line to London again!

Chris May's family: Mum Lorraine May and sisters Gemma and Charlene May.

The family of missing Kelvedon man Chris May have asked anyone withholding any information which might help solve his disappearance to call police and help end their “suffering”.

Photo issued by Essex Police of James Fairweather. Photo: Essex Police/PA Wire

A double murderer who killed two people in less than three months hopes to appeal his jail sentence on the grounds it is “excessive.”

Suffolk County Council and Active Norfolk Aviva Women's Tour media ride launched in Southwold on Wednesday 25th May.

Some of the best female cyclists in the world visited Suffolk yesterday as preparations for next month’s Aviva Women’s Tour.

Watch the new equestrian challenge

There are just days to go until the gates open for the 2016 Suffolk Show, and with an action packed programme set to please visitors, organisers have shared their top 10 new things to enjoy at this year’s show:

The A-10 aircraft heads along the A14 from RAF Alconbury to Bentwaters Cold War Museum on the former RAF Bentwaters airfield.

It was once a familiar sight over Suffolk – but the A-10 Thunderbolt II has been seldom seen since the twin bases of Bentwaters and Woodbridge closed in 1993.

Weapons discovered in Jubilee Park.

Knives and a hammer were found in an Ipswich park by police officers who are working to tackle drug dealing in one of the town’s most deprived areas.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24