Fire fighters to strike again as pensions row continues

Firefighters strike outside Hemel Hempstead's Queensway station. November 13, 2013.
Firefighters strike outside Hemel Hempstead's Queensway station. November 13, 2013.

Firefighters across Dacorum will strike again as part of an ongoing feud over pensions, it has just been annoucned.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will join crews across England and Wales in the walkouts, which will be staged over three days next week.

The strikes will take place next Friday between noon and 5pm, Saturday from 2pm to 2am and Sunday between 10am and 3pm.

There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime for union members across England and Wales from 3pm on Sunday until noon the following Friday.

The industrial action comes as a long-term battle to settle pension disputes with their employers and the government fails to reach resolution.

Fire crews from Hemel Hempstead and retained fire fighters in Berkhamsted and Tring took part in all nine strikes held between September and the end of 2013.

No crews in Dacorum worked through any of the walkouts, with emergency cover provided by resilience crews from elsewhere in Herts.

Following the last meeting of the union’s executive council earlier this month, the union wrote to government fire minister Brandon Lewis saying that if they hadn’t received any proposals by today’s date, they would conclude that the government was unwilling or unable to offer any improvement.

Union general secretary Matt Wrack said: “After three years of negotiations and an intense four months presenting an indisputable, evidence-based case for the need to ensure a pension scheme that takes into account the unique occupation of firefighting, the government is still burying its head in the sand.

“Several members of government were only too keen to praise firefighters during the winter floods, but their words amount to nothing when they simultaneously ignore issues that threaten the future of firefighters and their families.

“Nevertheless, we remain totally committed to resolving the dispute through negotiation, and are ready to meet to consider a workable proposal as soon as possible.”

Click here for Herts County Council’s advice on staying safe during the fire strikes.