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Firefighters set to strike on pensions

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Firefighters are to stage two new strikes in their long-running dispute with the government over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will walk out for 24 hours on Thursday 12th June at 9am and again for seven hours on Saturday 21st June from 10am.

The 24-hour stoppage is the longest to be held in the union’s three-year campaign, which has already seen 12 separate strikes.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has contingency plans in place to provide an emergency response to 999 calls, but says resources will be limited and response times will be slower than usual. Chief Fire Officer John Buckley said: “The service will respond to incidents with trained firefighters using recognised fire and rescue equipment but, with the level of operational cover significantly lower than usual, it may take longer for crews to get there.

“I would therefore urge people to take extra care, either while at home, at work, or when out and about visiting family and friends. Naturally we would prefer to prevent incidents from occurring whenever possible but, if they do, we will respond.”

The FBU said firefighters already contribute around 11 per cent of their salaries towards pensions, and in April this increased for the third year running. It said more and more members were considering leaving the pension scheme.

A spokesman for the department for communities and local government said: “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.”

What do you think? Should firefighters battle on to save their pensions or are they putting lives at risk?

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