FIREFIGHTERS will strike on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve in the latest instalment of their row with the Government over pensions.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced today its members will walk out between 7pm and midnight on Christmas Eve, between 6.30pm on New Year's Eve and 12.30am on New Year's Day and from 6.30am-8.30am on Friday, January 3.
The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) will implement contingency plans to deal with the action and will still respond to 999 calls, but serious incidents such as house fires and major car crashes will be prioritised. The dispute is over a Government plan to move the retirement age for firefighters from 55 to 60 but the FBU claim this is too old.
The union's General Secretary, Matt Wrack, said: “Firefighters provide a first-class standard of service 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and these strikes will remind government just how reliant they are on our members’ professionalism, commitment and flexibility.
“However, there should be no need for industrial action, and it’s absurd that firefighters’ concerns over pensions have not been addressed already.
“By simply conceding common sense and allowing firefighters a fair deal, the Government could end this industrial action today.”