More strikes to come from Warwickshire firefighters

FIREFIGHTERS across Warwickshire will be going on strike over the New Year in continued disputes with the Government over proposed changes to their pension schemes.

The Fire Brigades Union has organised strikes from 6.30pm on New Year’s Eve, to 12.30am on New Year’s Day, and from 6.30am to 8.30am on Friday, January 3.

Greg Pace, area commander for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue, said: “The FBU has announced further strike dates for New Year’s Eve and early January 2014 when celebrations will be in full swing. We know people will want to enjoy a peaceful Christmas and welcome in the new year in a joyous way.

“We urge people to be extra careful with Christmas lights, decorations and candles in the home and as careful out on the roads when going to or returning from celebration events.

“Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service will implement its contingency plan to provide the best possible fire service to the community whilst strike action takes place.

"Again to remind people we will be taking 999 calls during the strike but we won't be able to respond to all requests as we anticipate a reduced level of cover. We have run a number of exercises to test our contingency planning to prepare for the strike.

"Our focus will be to prioritise calls where a life may be at risk or if someone needs to be rescued, our response must be to those most in need of our assistance.

"We would ask people to make 999 calls wisely so that only emergency calls are made but if in doubt then they must not hesitate to still call 999.

"We want the public to take extra care and have put safety information out and this can be viewed on our website warwickshire.gov.uk/fireandrescue.”

These will be the eighth and ninth strike actions by the union, comings after months of debate over whether firefighters under the age of 60 will be able to retire early and claim a full pension if they are no longer able to meet the brigade’s fitness requirements.

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