The decision by FBU leaders to interrupt the Christmas holiday season with unnecessary industrial action is completely cynical. I met with the FBU on 4 December to continue discussions but their actions today show that they are not serious about resolving this dispute, which simply further damages firefighters’ standing with the public.
The deal on the table gives firefighters one of the most generous pension schemes in all 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.
I would like to reassure the public that there are robust contingency arrangements in place.