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Firefighter Strike

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Firefighters back industrial action in pensions row

Under government plans, firefighters in England will get their full pension at 60. Changes to pensions in Scotland and Wales have yet to be settled.

The union says many firefighters will not be able to maintain fitness standards into their late 50s and this will endanger the public.

Under the plans, those retiring early at, for example, 55 will lose thousands of pounds a year, the FBU argues.

Or they could, having left the fire service at 55, continue to work like the rest of us in some other field, and draw the pensions when the rest of us can. Perhaps doing the second jobs they do anyway when they monnlight whilst being firemen.

I have no sympathy for them at all.

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Firefighters back industrial action in pensions row

Or they could, having left the fire service at 55, continue to work like the rest of us in some other field, and draw the pensions when the rest of us can. Perhaps doing the second jobs they do anyway when they monnlight whilst being firemen.

I have no sympathy for them at all.

I contrast them to lifeboatmen who voluntarily give up their time to save lives.

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Firefighters back industrial action in pensions row

Or they could, having left the fire service at 55, continue to work like the rest of us in some other field, and draw the pensions when the rest of us can. Perhaps doing the second jobs they do anyway when they monnlight whilst being firemen.

I have no sympathy for them at all.

You do have to watch very carefully what the government side say though.

Fire minister Brandon Lewis said: "This government does not believe that industrial action is necessary. The pension on offer to firefighters is one of the most generous in the public sector.

"The FBU is creating a smokescreen around the issues of fitness and retirement age to justify their behaviour whilst ignoring the facts.

"After two years of discussions and improved terms, firefighters will still get one of the most generous public service pensions available - £26,000 a year, when including the £7,000 state pension.

Notice the novel way of getting to his headline figure. By anyone's reckoning (on these figures) these firefighters will get a public service pension of £19,000 a year.

And for many years members of public sector schemes will retire with state pensions of significantly less than £7000 per year, having paid contracted out NI for all/most of their working lives before single tier state pension.

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You do have to watch very carefully what the government side say though.

Notice the novel way of getting to his headline figure. By anyone's reckoning (on these figures) these firefighters will get a public service pension of £19,000 a year.

And for many years members of public sector schemes will retire with state pensions of significantly less than £7000 per year, having paid contracted out NI for all/most of their working lives before single tier state pension.

Jeez, it's even greedier than I realised. A working life 10 years shorter than for most of us, leading to a retirement 10 years longer than for most of us, on a generous inflation indexed pension for which I bet they paid little or nothing.

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And for a job that's not even dangerous in comparison to most others.

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And for a job that's not even dangerous in comparison to most others.

Sure about that? Those gorse fires that "happen" when the local retained firefighters haven't had a paid call for a while don't just start themselves. Firemen down here, well the retained ones anyway, follow the Ray Bradbury definition of firemen.

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Jeez, it's even greedier than I realised. A working life 10 years shorter than for most of us, leading to a retirement 10 years longer than for most of us, on a generous inflation indexed pension for which I bet they paid little or nothing.

Assuming that you're not in a pubic sector pension scheme, have never been, and will never be, then by the Minister's logic in the link given in the OP, the govt are projecting you will get a public service pension (including the state pension) of £7000pa!

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Assuming that you're not in a pubic sector pension scheme, have never been, and will never be, then by the Minister's logic in the link given in the OP, the govt are projecting you will get a public service pension (including the state pension) of £7000pa!

It's obviously the public sector shirkers who are causing all our problems.

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Jeez, it's even greedier than I realised. A working life 10 years shorter than for most of us, leading to a retirement 10 years longer than for most of us, on a generous inflation indexed pension for which I bet they paid little or nothing.

The government spin machine is hard at work I see. Can I state some facts?

Historically firefighting is a hazardous job.

Historically firefighters die younger than most professions.

Historically the job is physically demanding and best suited to males under 50.

A firefighter earns approximately the national average wage

The employers and employees know this so entered into an agreement. The employees would pay twice what other public sector workers pay in pension contributions in order to retire earlier.

Firefighters pay up to 15% of their salary as pension contributions to benefit from an earlier retirement age.

The average pension contribution into Local Government Pension scheme is 6.5%

Take an example of a 41 year old firefighter with 23 years service; If the government then decide to rip up his agreement, force pension contributions increases by another third on already the highest rate in the public sector, require 10 years more service to obtain that pension, alter the annual rate rise to CPI from RPI, and most importantly sack him without his pension if he does not meet the required capability standard up to age 60, would he not be right to take the only action open to him and strike?

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The government spin machine is hard at work I see. Can I state some facts?

Historically firefighting is a hazardous job.

Historically firefighters die younger than most professions.

Historically the job is physically demanding and best suited to males under 50.

A firefighter earns approximately the national average wage

The employers and employees know this so entered into an agreement. The employees would pay twice what other public sector workers pay in pension contributions in order to retire earlier.

Firefighters pay up to 15% of their salary as pension contributions to benefit from an earlier retirement age.

The average pension contribution into Local Government Pension scheme is 6.5%

Take an example of a 41 year old firefighter with 23 years service; If the government then decide to rip up his agreement, force pension contributions increases by another third on already the highest rate in the public sector, require 10 years more service to obtain that pension, alter the annual rate rise to CPI from RPI, and most importantly sack him without his pension if he does not meet the required capability standard up to age 60, would he not be right to take the only action open to him and strike?

Good post. Even though it's not as hazardous as it once was as building fires are less common and most calls are for RTAs, I agree that the new pension rules should apply to new recruits and not those nearing retirement age.

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The government spin machine is hard at work I see. Can I state some facts?

Historically firefighting is a hazardous job.

Historically firefighters die younger than most professions.

Historically the job is physically demanding and best suited to males under 50.

A firefighter earns approximately the national average wage

The employers and employees know this so entered into an agreement. The employees would pay twice what other public sector workers pay in pension contributions in order to retire earlier.

Firefighters pay up to 15% of their salary as pension contributions to benefit from an earlier retirement age.

The average pension contribution into Local Government Pension scheme is 6.5%

Take an example of a 41 year old firefighter with 23 years service; If the government then decide to rip up his agreement, force pension contributions increases by another third on already the highest rate in the public sector, require 10 years more service to obtain that pension, alter the annual rate rise to CPI from RPI, and most importantly sack him without his pension if he does not meet the required capability standard up to age 60, would he not be right to take the only action open to him and strike?

there is no pension fund they pay into...otherwise, there could be no issue with the pension, its date and its payout structure.

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there is no pension fund they pay into...otherwise, there could be no issue with the pension, its date and its payout structure.

That statement makes no sense at all.

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there is no pension fund they pay into...otherwise, there could be no issue with the pension, its date and its payout structure.

That statement makes no sense at all.

Defined benefit pensions make no sense at all.

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What are the fitness demands?

Why can't a man over 50 meet them?

Rope rescue, field firefighting, road accidents, water rescues, high rise firefighting........loads of incredibly physically demanding tasks. The personal protective equipment necessary to carry out these tasks is necessarily heavy and cumbersome which makes simple jobs tiring and difficult. Equipment is also heavy and fit for purpose. The spreaders used to pry open car panels to extricate casualties weighs 25kg. Carry around your pet labrador for 10 minutes and you get the idea what kind of weight and demands I am talking about.

Maybe a way above average fit 55 year old man could do these tasks but the fact is there are a large number of female firefighters too.

It is just not practical to assume the whole workforce can perform these tasks at 60 and the service is shrinking so there are no alternative jobs in later years. The proposal is to sack a firefighter who is incapable of performing at the required level WITHOUT pension. That is the crux of the call for strike action.

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That statement makes no sense at all.

It makes perfect sense when you realise there is no fund.

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Rope rescue, field firefighting, road accidents, water rescues, high rise firefighting........loads of incredibly physically demanding tasks. The personal protective equipment necessary to carry out these tasks is necessarily heavy and cumbersome which makes simple jobs tiring and difficult.

Maybe a way above average fit 55 year old man could do these tasks but the fact is there are a large number of female firefighters too.

It is just not practical to assume the whole workforce can perform these tasks at 60 and the service is shrinking so there are no alternative jobs in later years. The proposal is to sack a firefighter who is incapable of performing at the required level WITHOUT pension. That is the crux of the call for strike action.

fit people generally stay fit if they are in an environment where fitness counts...the female issue is a redherring...they are, after all 100% equal in every way and if they cant do the job as their fitness has lapsed, then they should be looking for a less demanding role, like, hairdressing maybe?..and Im talking about the men.

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fit people generally stay fit if they are in an environment where fitness counts...

A 55 year old firefighter may be exceptionally fit but damages his back whilst playing with his grandchildren and thus becomes incapable of reaching the required proposed standard. The employer sacks him without pension. That is the proposal!

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A 55 year old firefighter may be exceptionally fit but damages his back whilst playing with his grandchildren and thus becomes incapable of reaching the required proposed standard. The employer sacks him without pension. That is the proposal!

a strained back is usually a muscular injury.

it will heal...of course, you could insist he is not sacked and the next time you need rescuing and he turns up, better be sure you are stick thin.

never seen a handless icecream vendor, or pilot with extreme uncorrected sight keep his job, indeed, a pilot can lose his job over just about any disabling medical condition.

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I can't blame the firefighters for fighting to preserve the benefits that were once sold to them when they started, it is a responsible job with risks and you do need to be fit to do the job if the job is to be done correctly.....I know that many people longed to become firemen it was and still is a very sort after occupation, the hours were good and many firemen could do extra work if they wanted because their shifts were such that they could fit another casual job in.....do new firemen get the same pension benefits and working hours, or is it a legacy thing?

There are many important and responsible jobs where fitness is par for the course, I do have some sympathy with the people who do these jobs often working for not such a secure 'family like' firm working long hours with few benefits, where they do have to wait now until they are approaching 70 to get their state pension......they have no other option but to retrain when they reach a stage when their health/age forces them to call it a day when there is no other desk job available for them to do. ;)

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Firefighters back industrial action in pensions row

Or they could, having left the fire service at 55, continue to work like the rest of us in some other field, and draw the pensions when the rest of us can. Perhaps doing the second jobs they do anyway when they monnlight whilst being firemen.

I have no sympathy for them at all.

But they're firemen, lifesavers, yada yada yada. Logic goes out the window when this is mentioned.

Anyway, sooner or later, when the rest of the world has found they can get better results than human firefighters (and not put firefighters lives at risk) with drone technology, the unions might have no choice but to enter the 21st century.

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A 55 year old firefighter may be exceptionally fit but damages his back whilst playing with his grandchildren and thus becomes incapable of reaching the required proposed standard. The employer sacks him without pension. That is the proposal!

So they won't get any pension - none at all ? (apart from basic state)

Even if this happened at age 54 ?

If so that's harsh. I find that very difficult to believe though.

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Rope rescue, field firefighting, road accidents, water rescues, high rise firefighting........loads of incredibly physically demanding tasks. The personal protective equipment necessary to carry out these tasks is necessarily heavy and cumbersome which makes simple jobs tiring and difficult. Equipment is also heavy and fit for purpose. The spreaders used to pry open car panels to extricate casualties weighs 25kg. Carry around your pet labrador for 10 minutes and you get the idea what kind of weight and demands I am talking about.

Maybe a way above average fit 55 year old man could do these tasks but the fact is there are a large number of female firefighters too.

It is just not practical to assume the whole workforce can perform these tasks at 60 and the service is shrinking so there are no alternative jobs in later years. The proposal is to sack a firefighter who is incapable of performing at the required level WITHOUT pension. That is the crux of the call for strike action.

OK, well I'd argue that someone in that role has a duty to keep themselves fit enough to do the job, this in my view would entail a dual responsibility - the employer should provide education, good nutrition while on duty and things like regular free Pilates classes, the employee should make use of them.

You're probably laughing at the thought of macho firefighters eating properly and doing Pilates, but maybe it's time they updated their attitudes too.

Sacking someone who is unfit without pension is clearly wrong, but it's probably a "first position" regarding negotiations, they know they won't get away with that. I understand why they're starting at that point as well - the medical retirement scenario has been a gravy train for firefighters for ages, one station gets themselves a pet doctor or two and bingo....

The aim is probably to arrive (after some striking and posturing on both sides) at a situation where firefighters don't get to effectively retire at 50 with "back pain" on a certificate every few weeks.

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