Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 18°C

Search

Suffolk/Essex: Firefighters stage 24-hour strike over pensions and retirement age

11:24 12 June 2014

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales will strike for 24 hours until 9am tomorrow, the longest stoppage in their three year campaign against controversial changes to their pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales will strike for 24 hours until 9am tomorrow, the longest stoppage in their three year campaign against controversial changes to their pensions.

Archant

Firefighters in Suffolk and Essex have walked out on a 24-hour strike amid demands for the Government to take part in a national televised debate on pensions and retirement age.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales will strike for 24 hours until 9am tomorrow, the longest stoppage in their three-year campaign against controversial changes to their pensions.

The action coincides with the start of the World Cup, which has led fire chiefs to urge people not to cook late night meals after watching football on the TV for fear of starting fires in the kitchen.

Another strike will be held on June 22, with the FBU saying it is determined to continue with its campaign.

General secretary Matt Wrack challenged Fire Minister Brandon Lewis to take part in a televised debate on the proposals, which the union says are “unworkable, unaffordable and unfair”.

He said: “The Government is ignoring all the evidence from its own reports on these proposals and has failed to counter our arguments in three years of negotiations.

“Their attacks will radically damage the fire and rescue service and it’s only fair that the public are given a chance to see the minister himself challenged over these ludicrous proposals.

“It’s time for the Government’s spin to end. If he’s confident in his arguments, surely he’ll accept the opportunity for us to both lay our cases out in public?”

The Government maintains that firefighters will continue to receive decent pensions despite its reforms.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “All fire and rescue authorities have robust and well tested plans in place that include back up support if needed. Public safety will remain the primary focus and if anyone needs emergency assistance they should dial 999.

“The Government believes a solution can be reached, but not under the shadow of industrial action, which only serves to damage firefighters’ good standing with the public. By disrupting constructive discussions and an open consultation in this way the FBU has once again shown it is not serious about finding a resolution.

“The deal on the table is fair and gives firefighters one of the most generous pensions in the public sector. Additionally 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 60, get a £19,000 a year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension. The equivalent private pension pot would be worth over half a million pounds and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.”

The London fire brigade has urged football fans to order a takeaway if they watch the opening game of the World Cup tonight.

Marcus Evans

Brazilian police investigating allegations of Olympic ticket-touting have released emails between a senior Irish official and Ipswich Town Football Club owner Marcus Evans.

Tower Ramparts, Ipswich, as staff poured from William Prettys works in the mid 1890s

The site of one of Ipswich’s major employers until the 1980s - Willaim Pretty’s - is now a car park, writes David Kindred.

Andrew Bloomfield took this photo of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service fighting the fire in the old Fisons building in Paper Mill Lane, Bramford.

A fire at the old Fisons building in Paper Mill Lane, Bramford, has been extinguished.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A rap-loving noisy neighbour has been taken to court for continually disturbing his Ipswich neighbours with his music.

Ben Gummer, left, at the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and EADT EU referendum debate at UCS in Ipswich

In the third of five three-minute interviews, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer reflects on the European Union referendum and what it means for the town.

Aldeburgh beach was packed with people enjoying the sun on Wednesday 24th August.
L-R Chris and Jane Linford,Jan and Ken Garratt.

With the school summer holidays drawing to an end East Anglia’s tourist hotspots are gearing up for bumper crowds looking to make the most of the bank holiday weekend.

Skye Biggs with her mum Lana Heath.

All little Skye Biggs, of Felixstowe, wants from life is a day devoted to her favourite TV character.

The winner of the Get Caught Reading competition was Amanda Williams who sent in a photo of her daughters Cahir and Eira sitting in lockers at Haverhill swimming pool.

Dozens of creative entries have been submitted into the Suffolk Libraries Get Caught Reading and Bookface competitions as a means to inspire readers.

Fire station in Princes Street, lpswich

One of two full-time appliances based at Princes Street in the town has left the station as part of the shake up of Suffolk’s fire services approved earlier this year.

St Elizabeth Hospice have revealed a new pig   Dr Trott and Nurse Honey-Cured

The Pigs Gone Wild trail has just days left to run but before we say Ta Ta Trotters, we want to know which is your favourite pig.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24