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Firefighters strike

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Post  Guest on 2013-09-26, 8:33 am

Expected to work till 60.



FIREFIGHTERS across Wearside and Country Durham walked out in a row over pensions and raise retirement ages.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) nationwide left their stations and set up picket lines, leaving brigades to put into place contingency plans for four hours yesterday afternoon.

Lee Graham is FBU representative at Sunderland Central fire station in Railway Row.

Expecting firefighters to carry out frontline duties until they hit 60 would put both them and members of the public at risk,” he said.

“We are being asked to work to 60 now – I am sure the public would not appreciate a 60-year-old firefighter crawling through their window.

“We already have an ageing workforce. I can’t see another recruitment course being held until 2017 at the earliest.

“They have suggested that redeployment may be possible for those not able physically to carry out frontline duties.

“But you can’t redeploy everybody. There are not enough backroom jobs to do that now and there are going to be even fewer by 2017.” Lee, 44, has been a firefighter for 12 years and says changes to the service’s pension system will hit him hard.

“We will have to work longer and pay more in order to receive less,” he said.

Andy Dodd is FBU representative at Durham City fire station, where almost 50 firefighters walked out.

“We have had good support from the public,” he said. “People have been hooting as they have gone past and we have had up to 26 people on the picket line, which is quite a good turn-out.”

Fire minister Brandon Lewis defended the Government’s stance.

He said: “The Government has listened to union concerns – firefighters will still get one of the most generous pension schemes in the public sector.

“A firefighter who earns £29,000, and retires after a full career aged 60, will get a £19,000-a-year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension.

“An equivalent private sector pension pot would be worth more than £500,000 and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.

“The firefighter pension age of 60 was introduced in 2006 and is in line with the police and armed forces.

“We have been clear with the Fire Brigades Union that our pension reforms are not introducing a national fitness standard. Firefighter fitness remains a local fire and rescue authority matter – Government is helping local employers and the union to work together on this issue.”

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack warned there may be more to come.

“This initial strike is a warning shot to Government,” he said. “It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families in their late 50s. The lives of the general public and firefighters themselves will be endangered.”
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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-09-26, 4:48 pm

I'm on the side of the fire fighters on what I have seen, their concern seems fair, will 55 plus year olds be physicaly up to the job, lives could be at risk.

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Post  Guest on 2013-09-26, 7:12 pm

I too support the fire fighters but wonder what they think of one of their union leaders who is reported to be having £40,000 paid into his pension fund by his employer, presumably out of contributions levied on the fire fighters.
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Post  MrRAWhite on 2013-09-27, 12:47 am

They have traditionally contributed a large percentage of their wages into their pension funds because the nature of the job means they need to retire from that job at an earlier than most. I'm totally behind their cause despite the fact that their strikes cause me a massive headache regarding my workload..

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Post  Guest on 2013-09-27, 9:31 am

if they didnt have a second or third job they may be able to work until they are 60.i dont like it when i hear some emergency services personal have more then one job.should they not be resting before they drive at speed to accidents and incidents and save lives.there jobs are not poorly paid and cannot be that hard because they still have the energy to have more than one job.if they are living beynod there means then they should downgrade there lifestyle.when firefighters retire they can then do there second and third jobs full time which means when they do eventially retire they will have up to 3 private pensions plus the state pension.
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Post  Guest on 2013-09-27, 9:41 am

safc4eva wrote:if they didnt have a second or third job they may be able to work until they are 60.i dont like it when i hear some emergency services personal have more then one job.should they not be resting before they drive at speed to accidents and incidents and save lives.there jobs are not poorly paid and cannot be that hard because they still have the energy to have more than one job.if they are living beynod there means then they should downgrade there lifestyle.when firefighters retire they can then do there second and third jobs full time which means when they do eventially retire they will have up to 3 private pensions plus the state pension.
Must admit, i've never met a fireman where that is his sole job like.
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Post  Guest on 2013-09-27, 9:55 am

i can understand there concerns if the goverment are moving the goalposts with there pensions  but they know when they join when they have to leave.dont some of them get jobs in the office or stores when they reach 50.they dont get there legs and arms cut off so they can still find work or do they think they should  have a pension big enough so they can retire at 50  while most of us are working untill we are 65.
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Post  Guest on 2013-09-27, 10:01 am

commachio wrote:
safc4eva wrote:if they didnt have a second or third job they may be able to work until they are 60.i dont like it when i hear some emergency services personal have more then one job.should they not be resting before they drive at speed to accidents and incidents and save lives.there jobs are not poorly paid and cannot be that hard because they still have the energy to have more than one job.if they are living beynod there means then they should downgrade there lifestyle.when firefighters retire they can then do there second and third jobs full time which means when they do eventially retire they will have up to 3 private pensions plus the state pension.
Must admit, i've never met a fireman where that is his sole job like.
nature of the shifts they work, don't get the greatest wage, most of their other jobs aren't physically demanding. The fact they pay13% of their wages so they can retire early, as a nurse I'm dreading having to work till I'm 68 they do a physical demanding job and desire to retire at 55.
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Post  Guest on 2013-09-27, 10:06 am

safc4eva wrote:i can understand there concerns if the goverment are moving the goalposts with there pensions  but they know when they join when they have to leave.dont some of them get jobs in the office or stores when they reach 50.they dont get there legs and arms cut off so they can still find work or do they think they should  have a pension big enough so they can retire at 50  while most of us are working untill we are 65.
The fact is when they sign up they pay13% of their wages so they know that they can retire at 55 this is also why a lot of them need to take a second job.
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