Firefighters in South Yorkshire set for fourth walkout

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary.
Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary.
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Firefighters in South Yorkshire are set to walk out for a fourth time in a month in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

Announcing the latest strike, the Fire Brigades Union said it was launching a further ballot on other forms of industrial action.

The union fears firefighters will lose their jobs because of changes to the retirement age, raising it from 55 to 60.

Brandon Lewis, fire minister, told firefighters on Friday he had withdrawn June proposals on firefighters taking their pension before 60.

The FBU has argued firefighters are likely to experience a decline in fitness in their 50s, meaning they would be unlikely to meet the fitness standards required in the fire service and could face dismissal.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Our members enter burning buildings for a living and will not be intimidated by the government’s decision to worsen their proposals.”

The latest strike is set for Wednesday, November 13, between 10am and 2pm.

A South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue spokesman said: “We are disappointed another strike date has been announced and call on the Government and the FBU to negotiate an end to this dispute as quickly as possible.

“Our 999 response service will be severely reduced during any strike periods, so we call on people to take extra care to keep calls low and make sure they have working smoke alarms on every level of their homes.”