FIREFIGHTERS have begun a 24-hour strike as their dispute over changes to their pensions continues to show no sign of being resolved.
The latest walk out — the 13th since September — began at 9am today (Thursday) with a shorter strike already planned between 10am and 5pm on June 21.
In between the two firefighters will not carry out any voluntary overtime their union the FBU claim is routinely needed by many fire and rescue services to maintain sufficient cover.
The action is over proposed changes by Government to increase the retirement age from 55 to 60 and to increase pension contributions.
A consultation has now been opened over the changes, signalling an end to discussions with firefighters over them.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack warned of more strikes in the coming weeks.
He said firefighters typically now pay over £4,000 a year from the average £29,000 salary with an another increase proposed in 2015.
“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.”
In a letter to firefighters, minister Brandon Lewis accused the FBU of calling a halt to what he described as a constructive negoatiation process.