Search

Firefighters set for 24-hour strike in Havering

17:32 05 June 2014

The strikes are the latest in a series of walkouts over pensions changes

The strikes are the latest in a series of walkouts over pensions changes

Archant

Firefighters in Havering will go on a 24-hour strike next week after pension schemes were labelled “unworkable” by union chiefs, it has been announced today.

The planned stoppage will take place from 9am on Thursday, June 12, and is set to be the longest in a series of strikes over pension reforms and a later retirement age.

It will be followed by a second bout of industrial action on Saturday, June 21, from 10am to 5pm.

The decision for firefighters in England and Wales to strike was made by the Fire Brigades Union’s (FBU) executive council on Wednesday after a meeting with fire minister Brandon Lewis earlier in the week ended without progress.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, accused the minister of burying his head in the sand, adding: “He must accept that firefighters simply will not give up fighting for their futures — and our fire and rescue service.

“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.”

The FBU claimed the government was refusing to publish alternative proposals on pensions which it believed would help resolve the dispute.

It said its members typically pay more than £4,000 a year into a pension pot from a salary of £29,000, with many firefighters considering leaving the scheme as payments look set to rise.

The government is also proposing to raise the retirement age of a firefighter to 60 with those forced to retire beforehand due to waning physical fitness facing losing half of their pension payment, said Mr Wrack.

He added a report by the government by Dr Tony Williams, published in December 2013, found that large numbers of firefighters would be “unable to maintain operational fitness” until 60.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “By disrupting constructive discussions and an open consultation with further strike action the FBU has once again shown the country it is not serious about finding a resolution.

“The Government has made clear that a way forward can be reached, but not under the shadow of industrial action, which only serves to damage firefighters’ standing with the public.

“The deal on the table gives firefighters one of the most generous pension schemes in all the public sector, and the proposals protect the earned rights of a higher proportion of members than any other public sector scheme.

“Nearly three quarters will see no change in their pension age in 2015. Under the new scheme, a firefighter who earns £29,000 will still be able to retire after a full career aged sixty, get a £19,000 a year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension.

“An equivalent private pension pot would be worth over half a million pounds and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.”

“Public safety remains our prime concern and robust contingency plans are in place to keep people protected.”

Read more:

Romford temporarily stripped of fire engine as brigade chiefs anticipate possible strike action

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

29 minutes ago
Nearly 100 police officers from across London attended the scene at the Orchard Village estate, Rainham, in July last year. About 300 residents were evacuated for eight hours. Credit: @beckileigh_x

A man who tested a homemade bomb in his kitchen causing the evacuation of hundreds of people, wanted to kill himself after being arrested over child pornography, a court heard on Tuesday.

Yesterday, 17:00
Charlie Kutyauripo, 16, who was stabbed to death in Woodford Bridge. Photo: @MostAuthentic

A teenager who stabbed his former friend to death outside a 16th birthday party told the Old Bailey he did it “to protect” himself.

Yesterday, 15:15
The final group with Matthew, Keon and Aiden with their respective parents Frank, Phil and Peter.

Families squared off on the courts as an annual tennis competition got underway last weekend.

Yesterday, 14:08
George Wood (Charity Chairman), Matthew Hopkins (Chief Exec), Christopher Westcott, Sarah Sadan (Lead Biomedical Scientist), Len Kemp (General Manager of Pathology) and Chris holding his gift

It’s more common to receive gifts when you retire but a departing biomedical scientist has reversed the present giving with a generous donation.

Yesterday, 11:10
Tricia Dear, mother of 16-year-old Paddy Dear who died after falling down a cliff on his school trip.

The mother of a 16-year-old boy, who died on a geography school trip, has spoken about the tragedy in the hope of raising awareness of sepsis.

Yesterday, 10:31
Coaches from West Ham visiting Elm Park Primary school,

Primary school pupils were delighted to discover coaches for West Ham’s under-21 team in their classroom yesterday.

Yesterday, 09:33
Christopher Holt, 58, died of his injuries four days after being hit by a car at the junction between Rainham Road and Sowrey Avenue.

A 58-year-old cyclist has died of his injuries four days after a fatal collision with a car in Rainham.

Yesterday, 07:00
Poundland owned 99p Store in High Street, Hornchurch. Picture: Google Street View

High street shoppers have been heading for the exit of a Poundland store because of a stench caused by dead rats.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe