FIREFIGHTERS in Cheshire will take part in further industrial action over pensions at the beginning of May, the Fire Brigades Union has announced.
English and Welsh firefighters will strike on Friday, May 2, between noon and 5pm, Saturday, May 3, between 2pm and 2am and Sunday May 4, between 10am and 3pm.
There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime across England and Wales from 3pm on Sunday, May4 until noon on Friday, May 9.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, 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.”
Negotiations between the FBU and the Department for Communities and Local Government — as well as the devolved governments — have been taking place for three years, and since the last strike on January 3, 2014, both the union and government have undertaken work examining financial, technical and legal issues.
While negotiations were continuing, the government imposed a third annual increase in firefighters’ pension contributions, taking them to 14.2 per cent for most firefighters, one of the highest in the public or private sector, and issued proposals for a fourth year increase for many.
In August last year, firefighters voted by 78 per cent for strike action.