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Region's Firefighters Set To Strike

Monday October 14 2013


Firefighters set for second strike Firefighters set for second strike


SOUTH Yorkshire's firefighters are to go on strike next weekend - in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

Crew members from across the county will walk out between 6.30pm and 11.30pm on Saturday, October 19.

The strike - the second in several weeks - is in response to a ‘government attack’ on firefighter pensions, said the Fire Brigades Union.

The FBU fears firefighters will lose their jobs without access to their pensions when they're no longer deemed fit enough to be on the front line, claiming there aren't enough community or office jobs for them to do anymore.

Officials claim firefighters already pay some of the highest pension contributions in the UK public or private sector and have seen increases for two consecutive years, with further increases planned.

"We had hoped our first strike was enough to show government that firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions," said Matt Wrack, the FBU's general secretary.

"No firefighter wants to strike and it's desperately disappointing that the government continues to deny reality over pensions costs and the need for a pension scheme that reflects the job firefighters do.

"Firefighters simply cannot be expected to fight fires and rescue families in their late-50s and into their 60s.

"We hope this second strike will result in them willing to discuss our full concerns. However, more strikes cannot be ruled out if that's what it takes to protect public and firefighter safety from these ludicrous attacks."

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: "We're disappointed that further strike dates have been announced and call on the government and the FBU to negotiate an end to this dispute as quickly as possible."

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Reply Posted by Youshouldknowbetter on Monday October 14 2013 at 11:14
They don't portray a good image sometimes, quite a few of us on our street where a fireman lives see the fire engine bringing him home on a regular basis, really busy then???.....how many MPGthat does, who pays for that then?

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Monday October 14 2013 at 11:36
Is Firefighter really the right term for them now? Is the Fire Brigade Union the right term? They always complain that they are dubbed firemen when they work for the fire & rescue service, apparently 60 of their call outs now are not fire related.
I apprecaite that they do a physical job and that they don't want to work til normal retirement age of 67/68 or whatever it is now, however, why should they be able to start drawing their pensions early?
Most pension schemes nowadays don't let contributors start drawing it until they are at least 60, the state scheme does not kick in until much later than that, so why should there's be any different?
The vast majority of them seem to do jobs on the side ie. work as pallbearers at funerals, erect fences etc. They also seem to spend a lot of time sitting around in fire engines waiting while their colleagues fit free smoke alarms or stand outside Asda collecting money for the Fire Brigade Benevolant fund. Perhaps they should think about what they are going to do when they leave the fire service a bit sooner instead of relying on the pension fund to bail them out.
A lot who retire early seem to draw their pension and then just get a part time job to top this up instead of working like the rest of us.
Would a bin man who is far worse paid, just as likely to retire/leave early get the same perks as they do.... I think not!
They are also the one service that seems to think its right to leave the region at risk by going on strike...... how would they feel if the police did the seem and they were to get burgled while the strike was on? I bet they'd whinge then. Their Union seems to be stuck in the 1970's - an everybody out policy only works when you have the full support of the Nation and on this they don't!!

Reply Posted by sid on Monday October 14 2013 at 11:42
No matter the ins and outs. They are fighting to keep what they have. We would all do the same.

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Monday October 14 2013 at 12:43
There are ways of fighting other than walking out on strike. Everybody's pension entitlements are changing no matter how long they've been in them. I was lucky enough to have a final salary pension scheme through work, however, without a vote on it, without going out on strike, that pension was frozen preventing any further contributions and I was switched across onto a Career Average Earnings Scheme. Lots of other employers did this years ago to their employees. With people living longer, there is more need for a pension in later life when you cannot work and not earlier in life whilst you can.
The Fire & Rescue Service are looking to protect their members by not under financing the pot through over drawing from the money held. If the Fire & Rescue workers want a pension earlier in life, they should be made to increase their contributions to cover this shortfall or look at other career alternatives for when they retire - mainly in their late 40's!!! whilst they are still eminently employable and capable of working in some capacity or other.
This pension should should be frozen, with the existing members getting the benefits of which they are entitled to up to the date it is frozen but any future contributions should go into a standard pension drawable at retirement age like everybody else. I don't know why but the Fire & Rescue Service seem to get massive respect from the public, whereas the Police get disrespected. Policing a town centre in the early hours of the morning on a weekend or attending a road traffic accident seems just as hard a job to me for the Police as the job done by the Fire & Rescue Service yet no-one would stand up for the Police if this was happening to their pension.......

Reply Posted by Steveo on Monday October 14 2013 at 14:16
They have fought for these pensions for many years so why shouldn't they be able to retire at 50?

Yet another Tory ploy to try and rob terms and conditions from hard working people.

Reply Posted by Lucy on Monday October 14 2013 at 14:58
I wonder what people would think about doctors, nurses, healthcare, etc, etc going on strike? I bet it wouldn't go down too well.

My msg to them....... Get back to work! They're just as bad as teachers for going on strike!

Btw, I thought firemen were supposed to be hunks? Not looking at that ugly bunch!

Reply Posted by x on Monday October 14 2013 at 16:16
lets hope you never need this ugly bunch to save yours or your familys life someday eh lucy

Reply Posted by PoG on Monday October 14 2013 at 22:13
Yeah come on Jim what is this real work then?

Reply Posted by Becks on Monday October 14 2013 at 23:14
Hang on...firefighters risk their lives nearly everyday rescuing people from horrendous situations and are in my eyes part of britains front line....healthcare proffessionals save lives everyday but in no way are risking their own lives which is why firefighters deserve a bigger pension! Hope to god none of you need their help when u have a near 60 year old bloke carrying adults and childrens bodies downstairs to save you...

Reply Posted by Sue on Tuesday October 15 2013 at 08:31
what about a 20+ stone fireman carring adults and childrens bodies downstairs? Most of the fireman I see are overweight. I thought you were supposed to be fit to be a fireman?

Too busy driving around town in their shiny fire engine eying up women... or men.

Nures, etc,etc get spat at, punched, kicked, on a regular basis. They should stike.....oh wait.

Reply Posted by Neil on Tuesday October 15 2013 at 09:07
There have been many instances of NHS staff having knives pulled out on them aswell as druggies threatening them with dirty needles while trying to help or save the lives of these patients.

So yeah, you can say Healthcare professionals risk their lives saving people Becks.

If only a nurse had time to sit around most of the time playing pool and watching T.V. Most of the time docs, nurses, etc, etc don't even get chance to have something to eat while doing a 12hour shift.

Reply Posted by x on Tuesday October 15 2013 at 19:06
whilst i agree that NHS staff are just as worthy you cant really comment on fire fighjters just sitting around,what do you want them to do,go round deliberately starting fires just so they are kept busy.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Wednesday October 16 2013 at 09:30
@lucy - Btw, I thought firemen were supposed to be hunks?

I didn't know that you had to be good looking to be a firefighter (there are women firefighters today you know love, yup, it is called equality!) Are they marked out of 10 on their looks when they apply????????????????

Reply Posted by Lucy on Wednesday October 16 2013 at 09:40
It was a joke luv. Lighten up you idiot.

Happy???????????????????????????????

I put more question marks than you did so there. :)

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Wednesday October 16 2013 at 09:54
@Lucy - You never know who is joking on this site. It is populated by some of the thickest people I have ever met in my life. Then you get the 'holier than thou' idiots who bash anybody that is disadvantaged.

To be honest, I only come on here for a giggle.

Reply Posted by Tommy on Wednesday October 16 2013 at 13:00
As Liam Byrne who was chief secretary to the treasury in the last Labour government said on leaving his position "I'm afraid there is no money". Assuming he was telling the truth (which is a stretch for any politician) then will striking achieve anything? The simple answer is no but it will give them a day off to do some Christmas shopping !!

Reply Posted by Richard on Wednesday October 16 2013 at 13:09
Why is it legal that they are allowed to strike? What if the police and army went on strike?

Its a career choice they make, they get good salaries to provide a pension provision. At least they are employed, which is something many cannot say.

Stop whining and get back to work and do what you're paid to do (by the tax payer), as most days you're playing pool and watching TV.

Having a strike at a time when bonfire night is looming, is a tactical way of holding people to ransom when they are most vulnerable. Its a disgrace.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday October 16 2013 at 19:03
Crawl back under your stone Tory boy.

Reply Posted by Richard on Thursday October 17 2013 at 22:31
Tory? No. But we all know Labour's calculators don't work.

Its simple mathematics that states pension funds are becoming depleted and future generations will simply starve if things remain the same. Changes need to happen, its that simple, unfortunately the masses don't seem to understand why, as they are too busy looking after their own little world.

The previous Labour govt borrowed far too much and nearly made us bankrupt. I'm pretty sure people would have something to moan about then! I mean look at Italy, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus. I'd rather be in the UK under this govt, than in any of those countries (other than on vacation) or here under Labour.

People are living longer, which means they will be claiming pensions for longer, effectively putting a strain on the pension pot.

People striking is both selfish and short sighted, as I'm pretty sure if we simply give everyone a full pension and at an early retirement age, then the next generations will moan (and starve) because there's no money to feed them.


Reply Posted by Stevo on Friday October 18 2013 at 16:57
Richard, so we have already spoken in a previous thread you are not a Tory.
You post in a Tory-Esque brogue and have slightly hinted to being a Neo-Liberal?

I often hear the "ooh Labour spent far too much" speak in many posts on here, but alas it seems that the large majority of people do not know the true facts.
Labour effectively inherited a country that was almost bankrupt from years of Tory decline and underinvestment.
The Tory way of raising revenue was to hike interest rates to an eye watering 18% and sell off all our utilities in the 80's and 90's and pave the way to move from a manufacturing industry to the service industry from which our country has simply not recovered.
You cannot "disband" a major European manufacturing base and simply replace it with a more service oriented industry, the maths simply do not work.
Statisticians calculate that the demise in British manufacturing has lowered our GDP by almost 50% over the last 30 years.

Economies are like a double helix,(Think of a wavy line / or a graph) they ascend and descend on a regular cycle irrespective of who is in power, the helix always meets somewhere in the middle eventually.

(The double helix is also used to represent money taken in via direct taxation and revenues paid out for public services etc)

However, to put things into laymen's terms, the last time the Tories were in power the helix was descending and almost bottomed out (on the graph) until they started with the utility and council house "fire sales".
Then the Helix started to ascend due to the revenues that had (artificially) stimulated the economy.
Once that money was "spent" the helix almost bottomed out again and when labour gained power the helix almost went to three quarters and dipped to near the bottom due to the credit crunch.
Since Labour HAD to bail out the banks the helix almost flatlined.
However, the only good thing that Labour did whilst in power was to introduce quantitive easing which did stimulate the economy (despite nefarious Tory propaganda) and good old George (Gideon) Osbourne (Trust fund toff) is still printing more money to stimulate the economy as his Labour predecessor did.

As for your comment about the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece , Spain) ( & Cyprus) I am not an economist but common sense dictates that if we have countries in the EU which have weak economies such as the PIGS then they were always going to need a bail out.
Places such as Greece which heavily relied on the tourist industry and Spain with her construction were ALWAYS destined to fail.
The EU was a FRANCO/GERMAN obsession, an obsession which in principle would have "spread the wealth" across the EU member states, but it simply has not, can not and will not work.
France - Agriculture / Germany - Manufacturing BOTH have the BIGGEST subsidies of the entire EU, Hardly surprising is it?

You have to look at the bigger picture regarding the EU member states also, what do places such as Poland, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania actually bring to the EU table ?
Cheap Labour and that is all it boils down to i'm afraid.

The Labour party (originally set up by the working man for the working man) and their Trade Union partners in particular have given us the following:
two day weekends
8 hour working days
the retirement age
maternity leave
occupational health and safety
workplace pensions
equality
the right not to be sacked because you became pregnant, got married or became ill
pay increases
collective bargaining
the minimum wage (that's another story for another day though)
the right for the working classes to organise themselves
a standard of living above that of the 1850's
and much much more

The Tories are trying to erode everything the working man has worked for by watering down Health & Safety legislation, employment regulations .pay, pensions and terms and conditions.

People don't go out on strike for the sake of it, they withdraw their labour in absolute protest and rightly so.

Yes gone are the days of the 70's Red sabre rattlers, the union movement is still alive and has to adapt to modern times.

I am sure that if your employer turned round to you and said ~ sorry kid but were gonna have to chop your pension, oh and by the way you are going to have to take a 20% cut (in real terms) in your wages then you would most certainly have something to say about it.

I do agree that things have to change, but we are an extremely wealthy country there is easily enough money about to ensure that everyone in this country receives a decent pension.
The unfortunate thing is the ones who have the wealth do not want to relinquish their said wealth and will do everything in their power to ensure that they keep their wealth even if it means underhand tactics such as offshore "tax havens" (Liechtenstein anyone) and tax avoidance (Google /Amazon / Starbucks) to name but a few.

If we are to have a society that prospers then those who have the wealth are at some stage going to have to relinquish some of their vast riches that they have amassed off the backs of the working classes whether they like it or not.





Reply Posted by Purple Haze on Thursday October 17 2013 at 09:14
You are all missing the point.

During the 20th century everyday people fought hard to have certain rights within the work place. Things such as pensions, working conditions and so on.

These are being slowly eroded by the current government, which suits them as they only believe in businesses and they are driven by business leaders. So if they can get away with raiding pensions, changing working conditions and making people work more or harder for less, then they will. It does not benefit anyone but the business owners and government.

Therefore if people give in and capitulate and state sill things such as "we are in recession" and "everyone needs to feel lucky for working" and other such nonsense then we are making it easy for them. We should all fight this erosion of rights and back teachers and firemen with their strikes. healthcare professionals can strike but they dare not. Feel sorry for the ones who have had that right taken away ie police and prison officers.

Reply Posted by dedatodd on Thursday October 17 2013 at 09:28
When you take a job you sign up to Terms and conditions and a contract, unless you agreed to change that contract then it should be honoured. The Fire service and other public sector workers are being 'forced' into accepting something they and there 'employers' didn't agree. Striking is all they have left and I do think they are still answering 999 calls.
These are a brave bunch of people, I wonder how many would be up in arms if the Army, Navy and Air Force where treated as such?!!