Firefighters to join public sector strike as pension row rumbles on

Firefighters will join hundreds of thousands of public sector workers taking strike action next Thursday.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales will walk out for nine hours from 10am to 7pm.

It will be the 15th time the FBU has walked out in a long-running dispute with the government over pensions.

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On the same day, local government workers, teachers and civil servants will also be on strike over a range of issues, including attacks on pay and pensions and workloads.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The FBU has wanted to settle our dispute for a long time, but the government at Westminster is simply not listening.

“We are therefore proud to take strike action alongside our colleagues in other unions on 10 July.

“The fact that this government has united so many workers to take strike action against them is a testament to the failure of their policies.

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“They are destroying our public services and wrecking the lives of millions.”

Fire minister Brandon Lewis said: “The deal gives firefighters one of the most generous pension schemes in all the public sector and the proposals protect the earned rights of a higher proportion of members than any other public sector scheme.

“An equivalent private pension would be worth over half a million pounds and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.”