The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) today announced the result of a further industrial action ballot in its dispute over governmentsâ€™ pension proposals. This latest ballot gives the union authority to take other industrial action in addition to strikes and will mean that firefighters will now consider the withdrawal of the goodwill on which the fire and rescue service relies.
Firefighters in England, Scotland and Wales voted by 86% to support this further action.
The unionâ€™s general secretary Matt Wrack said, â€œThis vote is another step in challenging the attacks on our pension rights and follows our earlier vote for strike action. We will now consider what additional action we take alongside strike action.
â€œThousands of firefighters are seeing the pension they were promised and which they have paid into for years scrapped. The government is imposing unaffordable pension arrangements which ignore the reality of the job firefighters actually do. Most firefighters are seeing their pension costs rising to more than Â£4,000 per year in pension proposals which completely ignore the impact of ageing on firefightersâ€™ ability to meet the physical fitness standards within the service. It is a complete disgrace.
â€œFirefighters have to risk their lives to protect the vulnerable. In return the government chooses to rob them of their pension rights and punish them when they become vulnerable themselves, when their health and fitness declines.
â€œWe have been able to make progress on a number of issues in Scotland, which has so far averted strike action. This shows that negotiations are the way forward.
â€œWe call on fire minister Brandon Lewis and other ministers to come to the negotiating table today with an open mind and to work with us to resolve this dispute.â€