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Somerset firefighters to strike over pension dispute
PEOPLE are being advised to take extra care as firefighters across Somerset strike this weekend.
Firefighters will take part in further industrial action over pensions on Friday (May 2), Saturday and Sunday.
Matt Wrack, from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), said: “After three years of negotiations and an intense four months presenting an indisputable, evidence-based case for the need to ensure a pension scheme that takes into account the unique occupation of firefighting, the Government is still burying its head in the sand.
“Several members of Government were only too keen to praise firefighters during the winter floods, but their words amount to nothing when they simultaneously ignore issues that threaten the future of firefighters and their families.
“Nevertheless, we remain totally committed to resolving the dispute through negotiation, and are ready to meet to consider a workable proposal as soon as possible.”
Firefighters will strike between noon and 5pm on Friday, 2pm and 2am on Saturday and 10am and 3pm on Sunday.
FBU members are unhappy at plans to force them to work an extra five years until 60 and to increase their pension contributions, claiming many could lose their jobs as they would be unable to reach the required fitness levels.
Following the last meeting of the union's executive council earlier this month, the union wrote to Minister Brandon Lewis saying that if they had not received any proposals by April 24, they would assume the Government was unwilling or unable to offer any improvement.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service will respond to 999 calls during the strike but is asking members of the public to take extra care.
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