Firefighters take strike action

Picket line at Pegswood Fire Station.'REF 2509139910
Picket line at Pegswood Fire Station.'REF 2509139910

RESIDENTS and businesses across Northumberland were on extra alert yesterday during a national firefighters’ strike.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) left their stations and set up picket lines at stations in the county, including Pegswood, between noon and 4pm.

This meant authorities had to put into place contingency plans.

The strike was called because the FBU is against proposed changes it believes will mean that firefighters would have to work longer, pay more into their pensions and receive less in retirement.

It also says the move would see them having to work on frontline duties until they are 60 and it would be ‘ludicrous’ to expect them to fight fires and rescue families in their late 50s.

But the Government insists that the changes are fair and would still give firemen and women one of the most generous pensions in the public sector.

Before the strike, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said robust plans were in place to cover periods of industrial action and it would continue providing services, but warned that it would not be business as usual.