South Yorkshire firefighters set to go on strike

Striking firefighters outside Sheffield's Eyre Street Fire Station.

Striking firefighters outside Sheffield's Eyre Street Fire Station.

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Hundreds of firefighters are set to take strike action again in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

Crew members from across the county are planning to walk out between 6.30pm and 11.30pm on Saturday, October 19 – two weeks after another strike in the pensions row.

Fire Brigades Union members are concerned at plans to make them pay more into their pension pots.

They are also fearful that older firefighters, deemed unfit for frontline duties, risk losing their jobs.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “We had hoped our first strike was enough to show the Government that firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions.

“No firefighter wants to strike, and it’s desperately disappointing that governments in Westminster and Cardiff continue to deny reality over pensions costs and the need for a pension scheme that reflects the job firefighters do.

“However, more strikes cannot be ruled out if that’s what it takes to protect public and firefighter safety from these ludicrous attacks.”

A South Yorkshire Fire Service spokesman said: “We are disappointed that further strike dates have been announced and call on the Government and the FBU to negotiate an end to this dispute.

“We are satisfied with the contingency arrangements we have in place. These arrangements were tested for the first time two weeks ago, and we consider ourselves fortunate that the public heeded our calls to stay safe and keep incidents low.

“People should be in no doubt that the service we will be able to provide will be considerably depleted compared to our normal arrangements.

“Therefore, the best way people can keep themselves safe is to take care to prevent fires from happening in the first place, and to ensure they have working smoke alarms fitted and regularly tested.”

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