Rain

Rain

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

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.

County Hall, home of Essex County Council. Photo: ARCHANT

People who die in ‘sheltered’ accommodation may not be found for several days as funding cuts mean staff numbers are reduced at the housing schemes, a tenants’ group has claimed.

The sessions will be held at Suffolk Babies' centre in Kesgrave, pictured at its launch last year. Picture Sarah Lucy Brown

Today we are asking new parents to share their experiences of breastfeeding - was there too much pressure from healthcare professionals, did you get enough support and what factors played a part in the decision you made?

File picture. Police are appealing for witnesses. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Police are searching for a motorist who approached a 17-year-old moped rider in Barham, on Wednesday, February 15 with what is believed to be a knife.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich

A 46-year-old Sudbury man who tried to play peacemaker in a fracas outside a kebab shop has ended up in court.

Colchester Hospital

Clinical claims at a north Essex hospital trust have cost just over £21.6million, an East Anglian Daily Times investigation has revealed.

Some of the funding could be used to improve cancer services, such as those at Ipswich Hospital's oncology department. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Health and social care bosses in Suffolk and north Essex have clubbed together to make a multimillion pound series of funding bids to help overcome “huge challenges”.

Robert and Laura Strathern from Fairfields Farm potatoes

An Essex crisp maker which grows its own potatoes has bagged contracts with two major Hong Kong-based retail groups.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24