This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Fire Minister Brandon Lewis responds to the Fire Brigade Union's announcement of further industrial action.
Brandon Lewis said:
This strike action is completely unnecessary and we are disappointed by the FBU’s decision, which does nothing but damage the good reputation of the fire and rescue service.
Just last week the FBU called off a planned strike after we put an offer on the table that matched the fitness terms accepted in Scotland. We also facilitated further discussions between the FBU and employers (LGA) over the issue of firefighter fitness. Talks were progressing encouragingly and in good faith so for the FBU to walk away after only 4 days of negotiation is completely baffling.
The deal being offered to firefighters remains one of the most generous pension schemes in the public sector. A firefighter who earns £29,000, and retires after a full career aged 60, will get a £19,000 a year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension. An equivalent private pension pot would be worth over half a million pounds and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.