Further industrial action planned by Lincolnshire firefighters

Firefighters in Lincolnshire will take part in a fourth strike over pensions on November 13, it’s been confirmed.

The action will take place between 10am and 2pm across England and Wales, due to further intensity over the argument between the Fire Brigade Union and government.

The fourth strike comes after the FBU believes Westminster made a worse offer on firefighter pension proposals.

As well as another strike, firefighters will also be taking part in a ballot for more industrial action, which will close on December 4.

FBU General Secretary, Matt Wrack, said: “Our members enter burning buildings for a living, and will not be intimidated by the government’s decision to worsen their proposals. This latest attack will simply harden the resolve of firefighters.

“Ministers continue to ignore the professional, evidence-based case firefighters have presented over the past three years and refuse to establish an affordable occupational pension scheme which reflects the occupation of firefighting.

“There seems to be little or no understanding of what our members actually do or the standards they are required to meet.”

He added: “Although we still hope the government returns to negotiations, our members have told us that they are prepared for a long, hard campaign if necessary. As a result we are now balloting for further forms of industrial action.

“The fire and rescue service is totally reliant on the goodwill of firefighters on the front line. Many are now performing additional duties and additional hours as a result of central government funding cuts.

“There is precious little goodwill left in view of these attacks and that I am confident that will be reflected in this further vote.

“I urge the government to come back and talk about all the issues in dispute.”

As previously reported, the strikes began over pensions and the age at which a firefighter should retire.

Firefighters and the union would prefer for staff to retire at 55 with their full pension rather than the required age of 60.

Talks originally suggested that firefighters can retire on a full pension between 55 and 60 if they are deemed not fit enough anymore and another role cannot be found for them. If a firefighter chooses to retire early due to fitness levels though, they will not receive the full pension.

Since then, talks have broken down as no-one is able to give firefighters a guarantee on this offer.

During the recent strikes, 150 county firefighters took part, though contingency plans put in place only had to deal with a small number of incidents, including one traffic accident and two building fires caused by chip pans.

Dave Ramscar, Chief Fire Officer at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has been officially informed by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) of their intention to commence strike action on Wednesday, November 13 from 10am until 2pm.

“Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has plans in place to ensure that we continue to provide an emergency response within the county.

“We accept that any planned industrial action will impact on our ability to deliver business as usual, but we are confident that the implementation of our plans will enable us to continue to answer 999 calls and to respond to incidents as quickly as possible.

“We continue to remind people to take care when going about their daily business, and that there is further safety advice available on Lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr and on Twitter @lincsfirerescue.”