(30 October 2013) EPSU sends solidarity greetings to the FBU firefighters’ union in the UK which is planning two short strikes on Friday 1st and Monday 4th November.
The current dispute is over the increase in pension age for active firefighters from 55 to 60. The union took action on 25 September but then postponed the next planned stoppage for 19th October when it appeared that government and fire employers had shifted their position and acknowledged that firefighters faced losing their jobs and a large chunk of their pensions under new changes imposed in April.
The government and employers offered various ways of dealing with the problem of firefighters not fit enough to work beyond the current retirement age of 55, but then informed the FBU they could not offer any firm guarantees for firefighters in this situation.
The FBU highlights the fact that the government’s own research – the Williams report – shows that most firefighters cannot work beyond 55.
EPSU deputy general secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan said: “The FBU’s action in September was overwhelmingly supported by members and we are sure that the stoppages planned for the coming days will again show firefighters’ determination to protect their pension rights and get the government and employers back to the negotiating table.”
FBU press releases: