Northumberland County Council passed a motion this past Wednesday urging the Westminster government to negotiate a fair settlement in the long running firefightersâ€™ pension dispute.
The motion, put forward by Cllr Terry Johnstone, was voted in favour of by 41 â€“ 0, whilst 14 councilors abstained.
Negotiations are still taking place in Scotland and Wales as the devolved governments consult on revised pension offers, however firefighters in England are preparing to take strike action as the Westminster government try to force through unfair and unworkable pension regulations.
Guy Tiffin, FBU brigade official, said: â€œThis is a clear statement by Northumberland council. If the devolved governments of the UK can all genuinely negotiate on pensions and avoid strike action, then Westminster can do the same.
â€œFirefighters in England have been forced into strike action as Westminster are not listening, are robbing our pensions and do not want to see firefighters get a fire service pension that is appropriate to the occupation.
â€œIt is entirely in the hands of the Westminster government to end this dispute and make a fair offer to firefighters in England.â€
Terry Johnstone, Labour councillor for Bedlington West, said: â€œWe, the people of Northumberland, have come to rely on the bravery, professionalism and steadfastness of our fire & rescue service in times of need.
â€œNow in their time of need, the responsibility falls to us to come to the aid of our brave firefighters, before their rights at work and their pensions go up in smoke.â€
As a result of the motion Northumberland council will write to Westminster fire minister Penny Mordaunt urging her to listen to common sense and make a fair, revised offer to firefighters.
Firefighters in England will strike for 24 hours from 9:00 on Tuesday 9 December in protest over plans that will see 60 year old firefighters forced to serve on the frontline, despite government evidence stating most would be unfit to do so, and if they fail mandatory fitness tests from age 55 they would lose a huge amount of their pension.
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