Government response

Government response to 25 September industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Fire Brigades Union has announced strike action in England and Wales over the government’s pension offer.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced an ‘unnecessary’ strike action in England and Wales over the government’s pension offer. This will take place between midday and 4pm on Wednesday 25 September.

All 46 fire and rescue authorities in England have robust contingency plans in place.

The 999 service will continue to operate and the government has agreed a return to work protocol with the FBU for any major incidents.

As always people are advised to take extra care and in the event of a fire ‘get out, stay out and call 999’ - they will get a response.

Fire Minister Brandon Lewis said:

Now that the Fire Brigades Union is pressing ahead with this unnecessary and avoidable strike maintaining public safety is our first priority. I can reassure the public that all fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales have robust contingency plans in place. Incidents and call outs are at an historical low - but in the event of a fire the advice to people remains the same: get out, stay out and call 999 - you will get an emergency response.

The government has listened to union concerns - firefighters will still get 1 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 sector pension pot would be worth over half a million pounds and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.

The firefighter pension age of 60 was introduced in 2006 and is in line with the police and armed forces. We have been clear with the Fire Brigades Union our pension reforms are not introducing a national fitness standard. Firefighter fitness remains a local fire and rescue authority matter - the government is helping local employers and the union to work together on this issue.

Further information

Firefighters’ pension scheme calculator.

Details of the firefighters’ pension scheme from 2015

Safety tips page.

Fire kills campaign page.

Media enquiries