Contingency plans in place ahead of strikes by Cumbria's firefighters
Last updated at 12:43, Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Cumbria's Fire and Rescue Service has called for the public to be “more careful than ever” ahead of upcoming strike action.
Firefighters across the county have voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute with the Government over plans to increase the age of retirement to 60.
It is not yet known when the strikes will take place but Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service insists it has contingency plans in place in order to maintain its capability during the action.
A spokesman said: “We’re ready for strikes being called and are continuing to prepare the appropriate measures.
“While Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service will maintain a response capability during strikes, it will not be our usual comprehensive service so members of the public need to be more careful than ever to minimise the risks of fire and to help us make the best possible use of our resources by avoiding any unnecessary 999 calls.
“When the timing of industrial action becomes clearer public safety messages with information about how to reduce the risk of fires and the type of fire and rescue service response the people of Cumbria can expect during strikes will be issued.”
Meanwhile, the Cumbria branch of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has explained the reasons behind the decision to strike. Les Skarratts, FBU secretary for Cumbria, said local firefighters had to vote in favour of the action to “protect their pensions from a Government that seems determined to have conflict rather than negotiations”.
“They want us to pay much more, work much longer for less pension, requiring firefighters to work to the age of 60 and paying a lot more for the privilege”, he explained.
“To have firefighters running up ladders to save families from fire at the age of 60 is not something we believe is safe or proper.
“Massive contribution hikes have already been imposed on us with more to come, and a Government saying that if we do not roll over and accept this attack they will simply impose it whatever you or I think about it is a disgrace. Your firefighters being treated in such an appalling manner is not something we can allow, that is why Cumbria firefighters are so angry.”
Fire minister Brandon Lewis says more than half of all current serving firefighters will see no change in their retirement age.
And he insists that younger and newer firefighters’ pensions will still be “one of the most generous in the whole of the public sector”.
First published at 12:32, Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
In reply to Margarets comment, The world and this contries ecomomy was trashed by the geedy bankers who played russian roulette with our money, this was not helped by overspending Governments. Everyone is suffering, employees are having to accept changes in work and conditions just to keep their job! It is a a step backwards towards the dark ages and surfdom but some have no choice, our unions who are supposed to represent us have either been crushed or are in the hand of large companies or politicians more bothered about feathering their own nest! This is the real world we all have to try and live in!
I fully support the stance of the firefighters. I believe that there is also a great deal of support out there for them. I have reason to be grateful to the people who work for the fire service, they have every right to fight for their working conditions and pension rights. In the real world they put their lives on the line and deal with very stressful situations. In the real world most people appreciate this and do not agree with this attack on their conditions of employment.
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