FIRE CREWS EXPECTED TO VOTE FOR STRIKE

PUBLISHED: 14:08 18 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 May 2010

PENSION reform flames have been fanned so much that thousands of firefighters across the UK are expected to be asked to strike. The Fire Brigade Union s executive has decided to hold an emergency recall conference in February with a recommendation to str

PENSION reform flames have been fanned so much that thousands of firefighters across the UK are expected to be asked to strike.

The Fire Brigade Union's executive has decided to hold an emergency recall conference in February with a recommendation to strike.

The FBU will co-ordinate any action with local government unions who are also in dispute over similar concerns.

Firefighters can currently retire at 50 but the Government wants to raise the pension age to 60 for new starters.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said members were outraged and he was confident any vote would be for strike action.

"We want to avoid a strike and have sensible discussions with the Government but we are not making much progress," he said.

"Fire crews feel they have been kicked in the teeth because politicians are quick to praise our skills and dedication while at the same time trying to pickpocket our pensions."

From 2006 new recruits to the fire service will have to work for 40 years to get a full pension, rather than 30 as at present.

They will also have a standard retirement age of 60, instead of 50.

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