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Lincolnshire firefighters plan fifth and sixth strike

Some firefighters at Lincolnshire Fire & Recue are preparing for the next round of strike action from the Fire Brigade Union (FBU).

After a ballot taken earlier this month by members of the FBU, a decision was made to strike again in December over pensions.

Fire brigades across England and Wales will strike on December 13 and 14, both between 6pm and 10pm.

As previously reported, firefighters are doing a series of strikes over pensions and when it is deemed fair for them to retire from the front line.

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.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “This further action is entirely the responsibility of central government. The government is ignoring our member’s concerns about increasing contributions which will mean most firefighters paying more than £4,000 a year towards their pensions.

“The government’s plans are to create a pension scheme which takes no account of the physically demanding job firefighters do and the fire service fitness standards they need to meet.

“Expecting men and women at the age of 60 to meet the same fitness standards required of 20-year-olds is just not logical. Unfortunately the government is ignoring all the evidence on this issue, including its own reports. It is a callous way to treat men and woman who have put their lives on the line to protect others.

“We cannot stand by and do nothing as our members’ conditions of service are eroded. The government has refused to take account of the issue, confining itself to issuing misleading propaganda about ‘generous pensions’. These strikes are intended to ensure we cannot be ignored.

A statement by 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 Friday, 13 December and Saturday, 14 December, from 6pm to 10pm.

“As good practice the service maintains and tests business continuity plans for all eventualities. Consequently, the service is prepared to maintain an emergency response to 999 calls during this period of strike action.

“We are confident that our robust plans will enable us to answer 999 calls and respond to incidents as quickly as possible, but continue to ask members of the public to be fire safety aware.”

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