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Firefighters set for strike action
4:03pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
FIREFIGHTERS in the town will be going out on strike on September 25 in a row over pensions.
The Cheshire Fire Brigade Union confirmed they would be walking out, alongside services from across the country, for four hours between 12 and 4pm following the Government failing to enter into talks with them after increasing firefighters’ pension age to 60.
Dave Williams, Cheshire Fire Brigade Union secretary said: “An older work force is not good for the public or for the firefighters involved.
“We’re looking at potentially up to two thirds of firefighters with no job and no pension if they are not fit enough when they come towards the end of their careers in their late 50s.
“If they can’t maintain the fitness levels required they will be failed on capability grounds and wouldn’t get their pension.”
Currently firefighters retire after 30 years with a service retirement age of 55 years old.
They have become all the more frustrated as the Scottish Government have been working with the union to find a solution while English members have had no contact from Westminster.
Mr Williams added: “We have not done this lightly but feel we have been backed into a corner by the Government and hope the public will understand.
“We’re calling on residents to put pressure on their MP for some sort of constructive dialogue.”
It is thought managers, who have previously worked as firefighters, have been trained in basic firefighter skills over the last few weeks in the event of strike action.
Chief fire officer Paul Hancock said: “It is important to highlight that the strikes being proposed relate to national issues rather than local ones and that action will only be taken by those staff that are members of the Fire Brigade Union.
“We do have in place plans and procedures that will enable us to continue to protect the communities of Cheshire with fewer numbers of staff.
"However, we would encourage people to take extra care during the proposed action, both in the home and on the roads, to keep themselves safe."
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