Third firefighters’ strike this month to take place tomorrow

Hemel Hempstead fire fighters take part in a national strike in a row over pensions, September 25 2013.
Hemel Hempstead fire fighters take part in a national strike in a row over pensions, September 25 2013.

Another walk-out – from 10am to 2pm tomorrow – called by the Fire Brigades Union follows two firefighters’ strikes staged less than a fortnight ago, both of which passed without any major incidents in Herts.

No major incidents were reported in Dacorum or across the county during the previous two strikes held on Friday, November 4 and Monday, November 8.

Firefighters at Hemel Hempstead’s Queensway station did not work through the strike, but emergency cover was provided across the county by retained crews.

These strikes follow a four-hour walk-out by firefighters across the country on September 25, all in retaliation to government changes to the service’s pensions. A further planned strike was cancelled in the interim as it appeared negotiations were progressing.

But last week union general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The next step forward for pension negotiations is simple and achievable.

“If the government is serious about firefighters being protected from being sacked without access to their pensions as it claims to be, why won’t it draft the pension regulations accordingly?”

The latest call for action follows the decision of the government to worsen proposals on firefighter pensions, according to Mr Wrack.

Herts chief fire officer Roy Wilsher has again advised people to take extra care during the strikes, and has stressed that 999 calls will receive an emergency response from on-duty retained crews working across the county.

Progress talks between firefighters and their employers have yet to resolve a dispute over pensions with a further four-hour strike called for tomorrow.