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Firefighters across Hampshire to walk out as pensions dispute rolls on
FIREFIGHTERS in Hampshire will go out on strike again as a dispute over pensions rolls on.
The 24-hour strike - the longest so far in the three-year campaign - will take place from 9am on June 12.
Another one has been arranged for 10am until 5pm on June 21.
The firefighters will not carry out any voluntary overtime or conduct training of strikebreakers between the first strike and 9am on June 22.
The action has been called by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) after the government confirmed it would implement a new pension scheme without further negotiations.
It comes after FBU officials met Brandon Lewis, fire minister, in the hope discussions could continue on Tuesday (June 3).
But the decision to strike was made at the FBU's executive council yesterday.
Mr Lewis opened a consultation on the proposals to signal an end to discussions with firefighters over the scheme on May 23.
But the Department for Communities and Local Government has yet to publish alternative proposals.
Firefighters contribute 11% towards pensions.
The FBU says firefighters pay more than £4,000 a year from a £29,000 salaray and the government has announced it will impose another increase in 2015.
Under the government’s proposals, firefighters who are forced to retire before the age of 60 as a result of ageing will have half of their pension taken away.
The two strikes will be the 13th and 14th over pensions.
The first was on September 24, 2013.
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “The minister has decided to bury his head in the sand, but he must accept that firefighters simply will not give up fighting for their futures — and our fire and rescue service.
“Concerns over these unworkable proposals remain as valid and grave as ever, and the government has ignored all the evidence including it’s own reports.
“It is as ever a difficult decision for us to take, but the only way for us to resolve this unnecessary and costly dispute is for the government to start listening to reason.”
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