St Albans fire service to strike for four hours over pension problems
PUBLISHED: 11:58 25 September 2013 | UPDATED: 11:58 25 September 2013
FIREFIGHTERS across the district will be leaving their posts for four hours to protest against pension changes today (September 25), as they claim the Government has ignored their issues.
The strike will see them take their fight to local politicians’ doors as they are unhappy with Westminster proposals which would see them “working longer, paying more and getting less” from their retirement funds.
Crews are expected to congregate at the Sainsbury’s London Colney store just after 12pm and arrive at three Tory constituency offices at around 2pm.
Herts Fire Brigades Union secretary Tony Smith said it was a sad day but was the only option left as they have exhausted every other avenue: “Every week many of the county’s fire engines are without crews, fire stations continue to close, pay has been frozen and now pensions that were signed up to in good faith are being torn up by politicians who enjoy pay rises, expenses and gold plated retirements.
“To expect firefighters to be rescuing people from fires and car accidents at the age of 60 does not make any sense.”
In anticipation of the strike Herts County Council have warned residents to be vigilant and take extra care as fewer firefighters will be on duty.
Councillor Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety and planning, said: Although there will be fewer resources, we have planned for this and will be responding as quickly as possible to serious incidents.
“In the event of a fire you should still get out, stay out and call 999 – you will get an emergency response.”