Fire service strike called off in South Yorkshire

Fire: latest news and reports.
Fire: latest news and reports.
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Firefighters have postponed strike action they were due to take part in tomorrow

Crew members were due to walk out between 6.30pm and 11.30pm in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

Fire chiefs had warned that response times to emergency calls would have suffered - with just eight fire engines available to cover the county instead of the usual 27.

The Fire Brigades Union postponed the industrial action thos afternoon, saying ‘progress’ had been made in talks with the Government.

Firefighters are upset over plans to make them pay more into their pension pots and over fears that aging workers will be forced out of jobs if they are deemed unfit for the frontline.

South Yorkshire FBU spokesman Graham Wilkinson said: “The reason the strike has been postponed is that the Government have had discussions with the FBU this week and there looks like there could be some movement on one of the issues - there looks like there could now be protection for firefighters over 55 deemed unfit for firefighting.

“But this is not concrete yet as all the fire authorities would have to agree first and there are other issues that need resolved too so this is a postponement of strike action rather than a cancellation.”

Mr Wilkinson said firefighters do not find strike action easy.

“You never feel good going on strike, it hits your conscience but its about protecting the fire service,” he added.