Firefighters to go on 24-hour strike in Newham

16:46 05 June 2014

Firefighters are set to go on two more strikes in an ongoing row over pension reforms. Picture: Tony Gay

Firefighters are set to go on two more strikes in an ongoing row over pension reforms. Picture: Tony Gay


Firefighters will go on a 24-hour strike later this month after pension schemes were labelled “unworkable” by union chiefs, it has been announced today.

The planned stoppage will take place from 9am on Thursday, June 12, and is set to be the longest in a series of strikes over pension reforms and a later retirement age.

It will be followed by a second bout of industrial action on Saturday, June 21, from 10am to 5pm.

The decision for firefighters in England and Wales to strike was made by the Fire Brigades Union’s (FBU) executive council on Wednesday after a meeting with fire minister Brandon Lewis earlier in the week ended without progress.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, accused the minister of burying his head in the sand, adding: “He must accept that firefighters simply will not give up fighting for their futures — and our fire and rescue service.

“Concerns over these unworkable proposals remain as valid and grave as ever, and the government has ignored all the evidence including it’s own reports.

“It is as ever a difficult decision for us to take, but the only way for us to resolve this unnecessary and costly dispute is for the government to start listening to reason.”

The FBU claimed the government was refusing to publish alternative proposals on pensions which it believed would help resolve the dispute.

It said its members typically pay more than £4,000 a year into a pension pot from a salary of £29,000, with many firefighters considering leaving the scheme as payments look set to rise.

The government is also proposing to raise the retirement age of a firefighter to 60 with those forced to retire beforehand due to waning physical fitness facing losing half of their pension payment, said Mr Wrack.

He added a report by the government by Dr Tony Williams, published in December 2013, found that large numbers of firefighters would be “unable to maintain operational fitness” until 60.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “By disrupting constructive discussions and an open consultation with further strike action the FBU has once again shown the country it is not serious about finding a resolution.

“The Government has made clear that a way forward can be reached, but not under the shadow of industrial action, which only serves to damage firefighters’ standing with the public.

“The deal on the table gives firefighters one of the most generous pension schemes in all the public sector, and 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 sixty, get a £19,000 a year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension.

“An equivalent private pension pot would be worth over half a million pounds and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.”

“Public safety remains our prime concern and robust contingency plans are in place to keep people protected.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Man charged with Bow Creek murder

A man has appeared in court today charged with the murder of a homeless rough sleeper in east London whose body was discovered in the Bow Creek.

London City Airport

Attempts to expand London City Airport are continuing, with plans unveiled to take it into the water.

Boris Johnson
Saulius Urbanavicius, 24, has been charged with murder

A 24-year-old man will appear in court today charged with murder after a body was found in Canning Town.

Canning Town
Junior doctors at a rally in central London last month

Junior doctors will not strike today after the British Medical Association (BMA) reached an agreement with the Government to resume negotiations.


Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
Win a beautiful monochrome tunic dress with Great British Life!

Great British Life is offering a beautiful monochrome silk tunic dress worth £179 to one lucky reader

Read more
Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder