Firefighters threaten to strike over pensions reform

Thousands of firefighters across the UK are expected to be asked to strike in a dispute about pension reforms.

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

The union plans to co-ordinate any action with local government unions whose members are also in dispute about similar concerns.

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

General secretary Matt Wrack said members were outraged and added that he was confident any vote would be for strike action.

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 pension age of 60, instead of 50.

The FBU fought and lost a bitter, long-running strike with the government about pay and conditions in 2003.

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