Three days of firefighter strikes

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Firefighters will strike for three days over pension disputes.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will stop work from noon - 5pm on Friday May 2, 2pm - 2am on May 3/4, and 10am - 3pm on Sunday May 4.

There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime across England and Wales from 3pm on Sunday May 4 until noon on Friday May 9.

Crawley firefighter and FBU representative Francis Bishop said the strike was over a dispute the FBU had been having with the government for three years.

The Government wants firefighters to work until they are 60 and firefighters say they cannot be expected to meet fitness standards until that age.

He said a government commissioned medical report has found that more than 90 per cent of women firefighters and around 60 per cent of male firefighters won’t be able to work till they’re 60.

He added that the government has said if firefighters need to retire at the age of 55, their pension will be reduced by 45 per cent - which FBU members do not think is fair.

Firefighters’ pension contributions are around 14.2 per cent.

Mr Bishop said: “They want us to pay a fortune into our pensions which we are statistically unlikely to get.

“We can’t agree to a pension scheme where we pay £100 a week every year then get a pension of £9,000 a year.”