Firefighters strike again over pension proposals

Firefighters across England and Wales are on strike today over the government’s proposed reforms to their pension scheme.

It is the fourth strike that members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have staged in recent weeks. 

Firefighters previously went on strike on 25 September, 1 and 4 November, and suspended planned strike action on 19 October.

The proposed pension changes, which were set out in the Public Service Pensions Bill 2013, include a move to career-average pension schemes, instead of final salary schemes, and a set employer cost cap to ensure that public sector pensions remain affordable and sustainable.

The FBU is also disputing the government’s proposal to raise the retirement age for firefighters from 55 to 60.

Ron Dobson, London fire commissioner, said: “The vast majority of the nation’s firefighters will not be working. Fire and rescue services have contingency plans in place.

“Millions of people will be at home during the strike; they’re the ones we’re concerned about.”

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, added: “Firefighters simply want an affordable and workable pension that reflects the job we do.

“We’re keen to resolve this through negotitations, but the government is simply ignoring all the evidence we have submitted.”