Firefighters to strike again over pensions

Firefighters across England and Wales are set to strike on 1 and 4 November over the government’s reforms to their pension scheme.

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.

On 15 October, increases to employee contributions were also proposed.

Firefighters previously went on strike on 25 September and suspended industrial action on 19 October.

Ron Dobson, London fire commissioner, said: “We are as prepared as ever to deal with this next round of strike action.

”It’s a shame that further action is being taken, but our contingency plan will kick in and we will be ready to deal with emergencies.”

Matt Wrack, general secretary at Fire Brigades Union (FBU), added: “It is ludicrous that, after two years of negotiations, the government has still not sorted out this mess.

“Firefighters want a pension scheme that takes account of the hazardous nature of the job, as well as being affordable and workable for them and the taxpayer.”