Socialist Party
| Print

29 October 2014

Support FBU pension strikes

Save our fire service

Coordinated action can defeat the cuts

Firefighters in the FBU union are due to strike for four days over pension cuts. The strike marks a big escalation in the dispute, as up until now the walkouts - since September 2013 - have lasted between two and 24 hours. Salford FBU rep Paul Davies spoke to the Socialist about the action.

"We're very, very angry and disappointed about the way negotiations have gone. Not on the FBU's part - it's done a really good job at putting the case across and explaining why we need a revised offer. It's the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Nothing's changed from the start, there's no bend or give from them. If you're a firefighter now you're going to have to work until you're 60 instead of 55.

The threat of being dismissed on the grounds of capability if you don't reach the required fitness standards is still in place. A firefighter in his mid to late 50s is going to have to pass the same medical and have the same level of fitness as a 19-year-old. There's going to be a lot of firefighters who are not going to meet the required standards and will be out of a job.

It's also about the contributions going up - we'll pay more in and get less out.

Four days

This four day strike can't come too soon. The fire brigades could barely cope when we went out for four or eight hours. With this four day one, they're really going to struggle. I just hope that the various chief fire officers around the country can put pressure on the DCLG to get back round the table.

Pensions aren't the only issue. The cuts seem to be never ending. In the last couple of weeks four or five appliances have been cut in Greater Manchester.

My station, Salford, has just lost a fire engine. We're now down to one pump. The neighbouring station in Mossside has lost a fire engine as well.

The chief fire officer is saying that it's because we're taking action short of strike action, that they can't crew those appliances because we won't do overtime in the district. But it's nothing to do with us not doing the overtime. He's not recruited for five years. He's not got enough staff to crew those appliances because of the cuts.

The pay's not going up, the pension contributions are going up, and the jobs are going. There's no good news in the fire service really.

The obvious thing is to coordinate with the NHS staff: two of the emergency services on strike at the same time. Either that or a longer FBU strike. An eight day strike is what a lot of people have been talking about because then we're all hit the same, all the watches lose out."

UPDATE: The FBU strike in Wales has been called off due to the prospect of a deal with the Welsh government. The strike will still go ahead in England.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube


triangle18 Sep Building a new left in PCS

triangle18 Sep Climate change: what's socialism got to do with it?

triangle18 Sep Stand firm against the pro-capitalist politicians

triangle18 Sep Trade union movement must put its stamp on swirling events

triangle18 Sep Strike back to stop bullying Royal Mail bosses

triangle18 Sep Climate protests: which way forward after 20 September?

triangle11 Sep Lobby of TUC: Upbeat meeting calls for trade union lead to boot out...

More ...


triangle20 Sep Earth Strike

triangle24 Sep Brighton Socialist Party: Tories out now!

triangle24 Sep Bristol Socialist Party & Socialist Students: Fight the Tories - Fight for your Future!

triangle25 Sep York Socialist Party: Why we need socialist change to stop climate change


Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551


What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you


Alphabetical listing

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019