Firefighters to go on strike again over pensions dispute, announces Fire Brigades Union

Wimbledon Guardian: FBU president Alan McLean speaks to striking firefighters at protest in Kingston in November 2013 FBU president Alan McLean speaks to striking firefighters at protest in Kingston in November 2013

Firefighters will take part in further industrial action over pensions, the Fire Brigades Union has announced.

The strikes will happen on Friday May 2, between noon and 5pm; Saturday May 3 (2pm-2am) and - Sunday, May 4 (10am-3am).

There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime across England and Wales from 3pm on Sunday 4 May until noon on Friday 9 May, the union said.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “After three years of negotiations and an intense four months presenting an indisputable, evidence-based case for the need to ensure a pension scheme that takes account the unique occupation of firefighting, the government is still burying its head in the sand.

“Several members of government were only too keen to praise firefighters during the winter floods, but their words amount to nothing when they simultaneously ignore issues that threaten the future of firefighters and their families.

“Nevertheless, we remain totally committed to resolving the dispute through negotiation, and are ready to meet to consider a workable proposal as soon as possible.”

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3:52pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Beverly RA says...

Transport Teachers Fire brigade all politically motivated for the gullible to follow. In my opinion. And who suffers US.
Transport Teachers Fire brigade all politically motivated for the gullible to follow. In my opinion. And who suffers US. Beverly RA
  • Score: -5

4:02pm Thu 24 Apr 14

pinky107 says...

but every one should have the right to strike , just because they serve the rest of us it doesnt mean they shouldn't be allowed to fight for their rights or is it only us who's work doesnt interfere with others routines have the right .
nurses , soldiers , poice etc etc are always crapped on by governments who have no idea about the real world . but yet they get moaned at for striking in case we need them . they are human and deserve the respect and conditions that we all deserve and want .
but every one should have the right to strike , just because they serve the rest of us it doesnt mean they shouldn't be allowed to fight for their rights or is it only us who's work doesnt interfere with others routines have the right . nurses , soldiers , poice etc etc are always crapped on by governments who have no idea about the real world . but yet they get moaned at for striking in case we need them . they are human and deserve the respect and conditions that we all deserve and want . pinky107
  • Score: 13

6:27pm Thu 24 Apr 14

QPR4Me says...

pinky107,

These people do have the right to strike, however, they do not have the right to hold parents and the vulnerable to ransom just to get their selfish way.
It really is time to look at no strike agreements where disputes are settled by a neutral and independent panel, whose outcome is binding on both sides of the dispute!
pinky107, These people do have the right to strike, however, they do not have the right to hold parents and the vulnerable to ransom just to get their selfish way. It really is time to look at no strike agreements where disputes are settled by a neutral and independent panel, whose outcome is binding on both sides of the dispute! QPR4Me
  • Score: 4

10:08pm Thu 24 Apr 14

sjsunny says...

I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it!
I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it! sjsunny
  • Score: 9

8:29am Fri 25 Apr 14

LiberalsOut says...

sjsunny wrote:
I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it!
Spot on
Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place
In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards
[quote][p][bold]sjsunny[/bold] wrote: I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it![/p][/quote]Spot on Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards LiberalsOut
  • Score: -2

9:21am Fri 25 Apr 14

edstar says...

LiberalsOut wrote:
sjsunny wrote:
I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it!
Spot on
Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place
In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards
Just to let you know, unless you are at the top, there are no more final pay pensions in the public sector. Also, unlike the private sector, there is no bonus culture and huge wages in the public sector. Well unless you are at the top.

As for fire fighters, they put themselves at risk and do a very difficult job and they should be rewarded accordingly.
[quote][p][bold]LiberalsOut[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sjsunny[/bold] wrote: I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it![/p][/quote]Spot on Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards[/p][/quote]Just to let you know, unless you are at the top, there are no more final pay pensions in the public sector. Also, unlike the private sector, there is no bonus culture and huge wages in the public sector. Well unless you are at the top. As for fire fighters, they put themselves at risk and do a very difficult job and they should be rewarded accordingly. edstar
  • Score: 8

11:21am Fri 25 Apr 14

sjsunny says...

Edstar - There are actually still final and average salary schemes in the public sector even for those not at the top! There schemes, even in the adjusted formats are still largely far more attractive to many of the schemes people in the private sector are in.

I appreciate that firefighters do a risky and valuable job, but so do many others including our army, navy and airforce personnel. I appreciate everything each and everyone of these people does, but we have to get real. This country can no longer afford many things, people are living longer and we all have to face up to it and adapt accordingly - like it or not, otherwise things will get a lot worse!
Edstar - There are actually still final and average salary schemes in the public sector even for those not at the top! There schemes, even in the adjusted formats are still largely far more attractive to many of the schemes people in the private sector are in. I appreciate that firefighters do a risky and valuable job, but so do many others including our army, navy and airforce personnel. I appreciate everything each and everyone of these people does, but we have to get real. This country can no longer afford many things, people are living longer and we all have to face up to it and adapt accordingly - like it or not, otherwise things will get a lot worse! sjsunny
  • Score: 6

11:35am Fri 25 Apr 14

sjsunny says...

edstar wrote:
LiberalsOut wrote:
sjsunny wrote:
I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it!
Spot on
Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place
In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards
Just to let you know, unless you are at the top, there are no more final pay pensions in the public sector. Also, unlike the private sector, there is no bonus culture and huge wages in the public sector. Well unless you are at the top.

As for fire fighters, they put themselves at risk and do a very difficult job and they should be rewarded accordingly.
Extract from Fire Service pension scheme below: (You will see that it is actually currently based on final salary. Even with proposed changes, members prior to 1 April 2012 see no changes to retirement age or benefits and those affected by the changes would have to pat twice as much for an equivalent pension in the private sector!)

What kind of scheme is it?
The NFPS is a statutory, public service pension scheme made under section 34 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. The provisions of the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) are set out in The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) Order 2006. The benefits under the scheme are based on the length of your pensionable service and your final salary. It is a tax approved scheme, registered under section 153 of the Finance Act 2004.
[quote][p][bold]edstar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LiberalsOut[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sjsunny[/bold] wrote: I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it![/p][/quote]Spot on Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards[/p][/quote]Just to let you know, unless you are at the top, there are no more final pay pensions in the public sector. Also, unlike the private sector, there is no bonus culture and huge wages in the public sector. Well unless you are at the top. As for fire fighters, they put themselves at risk and do a very difficult job and they should be rewarded accordingly.[/p][/quote]Extract from Fire Service pension scheme below: (You will see that it is actually currently based on final salary. Even with proposed changes, members prior to 1 April 2012 see no changes to retirement age or benefits and those affected by the changes would have to pat twice as much for an equivalent pension in the private sector!) What kind of scheme is it? The NFPS is a statutory, public service pension scheme made under section 34 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. The provisions of the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) are set out in The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) Order 2006. The benefits under the scheme are based on the length of your pensionable service and your final salary. It is a tax approved scheme, registered under section 153 of the Finance Act 2004. sjsunny
  • Score: 5

12:28pm Fri 25 Apr 14

kingstonpaul says...

pinky107 wrote:
but every one should have the right to strike , just because they serve the rest of us it doesnt mean they shouldn't be allowed to fight for their rights or is it only us who's work doesnt interfere with others routines have the right .
nurses , soldiers , poice etc etc are always crapped on by governments who have no idea about the real world . but yet they get moaned at for striking in case we need them . they are human and deserve the respect and conditions that we all deserve and want .
Problem is that with the teachers and the post-Crow rail union, you've got a turf war going on at the top of each pending re-elections. The public is the punch bag as candiates for leadership slug it out to demonstrate who's got the biggest cojones
[quote][p][bold]pinky107[/bold] wrote: but every one should have the right to strike , just because they serve the rest of us it doesnt mean they shouldn't be allowed to fight for their rights or is it only us who's work doesnt interfere with others routines have the right . nurses , soldiers , poice etc etc are always crapped on by governments who have no idea about the real world . but yet they get moaned at for striking in case we need them . they are human and deserve the respect and conditions that we all deserve and want .[/p][/quote]Problem is that with the teachers and the post-Crow rail union, you've got a turf war going on at the top of each pending re-elections. The public is the punch bag as candiates for leadership slug it out to demonstrate who's got the biggest cojones kingstonpaul
  • Score: 5

12:41pm Fri 25 Apr 14

edstar says...

sjsunny wrote:
edstar wrote:
LiberalsOut wrote:
sjsunny wrote:
I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it!
Spot on
Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place
In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards
Just to let you know, unless you are at the top, there are no more final pay pensions in the public sector. Also, unlike the private sector, there is no bonus culture and huge wages in the public sector. Well unless you are at the top.

As for fire fighters, they put themselves at risk and do a very difficult job and they should be rewarded accordingly.
Extract from Fire Service pension scheme below: (You will see that it is actually currently based on final salary. Even with proposed changes, members prior to 1 April 2012 see no changes to retirement age or benefits and those affected by the changes would have to pat twice as much for an equivalent pension in the private sector!)

What kind of scheme is it?
The NFPS is a statutory, public service pension scheme made under section 34 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. The provisions of the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) are set out in The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) Order 2006. The benefits under the scheme are based on the length of your pensionable service and your final salary. It is a tax approved scheme, registered under section 153 of the Finance Act 2004.
actually, its based on an average of the last x many years of service (also the same for most public sector workers for a number of years now) and the firefighters have to work until they are 65 (i think) to qualify. The issue the firefights have is that its not safe for them or the public to have people who are about to retire climbing ladders and so on.

I may be wrong, but this is what i think the issue is
[quote][p][bold]sjsunny[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]edstar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LiberalsOut[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sjsunny[/bold] wrote: I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it![/p][/quote]Spot on Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards[/p][/quote]Just to let you know, unless you are at the top, there are no more final pay pensions in the public sector. Also, unlike the private sector, there is no bonus culture and huge wages in the public sector. Well unless you are at the top. As for fire fighters, they put themselves at risk and do a very difficult job and they should be rewarded accordingly.[/p][/quote]Extract from Fire Service pension scheme below: (You will see that it is actually currently based on final salary. Even with proposed changes, members prior to 1 April 2012 see no changes to retirement age or benefits and those affected by the changes would have to pat twice as much for an equivalent pension in the private sector!) What kind of scheme is it? The NFPS is a statutory, public service pension scheme made under section 34 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. The provisions of the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) are set out in The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) Order 2006. The benefits under the scheme are based on the length of your pensionable service and your final salary. It is a tax approved scheme, registered under section 153 of the Finance Act 2004.[/p][/quote]actually, its based on an average of the last x many years of service (also the same for most public sector workers for a number of years now) and the firefighters have to work until they are 65 (i think) to qualify. The issue the firefights have is that its not safe for them or the public to have people who are about to retire climbing ladders and so on. I may be wrong, but this is what i think the issue is edstar
  • Score: -2

1:12pm Fri 25 Apr 14

rocket400 says...

sack them all, and give the job to someone who is grateful to sit around all day and have four days off...oh once in a blue they might have to go into a fire to rescue someone but so would thousands of men if they had too
sack them all, and give the job to someone who is grateful to sit around all day and have four days off...oh once in a blue they might have to go into a fire to rescue someone but so would thousands of men if they had too rocket400
  • Score: 3

4:50pm Fri 25 Apr 14

sjsunny says...

Edstar: Please read the extract I took from the Fire Service pension scheme above which clearly states the current scheme is based on length of service and final salary - not my words, but the words of the Fire Service Pension Scheme.

The issue you make reference to, which is well documented, is that the Government are seeking to raise the retirement age from 55 to 60 years old!

Not bad considering many people will have to continue working into their 70s at this rate!
Edstar: Please read the extract I took from the Fire Service pension scheme above which clearly states the current scheme is based on length of service and final salary - not my words, but the words of the Fire Service Pension Scheme. The issue you make reference to, which is well documented, is that the Government are seeking to raise the retirement age from 55 to 60 years old! Not bad considering many people will have to continue working into their 70s at this rate! sjsunny
  • Score: 3

6:24pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Michael Pantlin says...

edstar wrote:
LiberalsOut wrote:
sjsunny wrote:
I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it!
Spot on
Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place
In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards
Just to let you know, unless you are at the top, there are no more final pay pensions in the public sector. Also, unlike the private sector, there is no bonus culture and huge wages in the public sector. Well unless you are at the top.

As for fire fighters, they put themselves at risk and do a very difficult job and they should be rewarded accordingly.
They certainly put themselves at risk in the case of the drowning gull on Carshalton Ponds a couple of years back, didn't they? They came (mob handed), they saw, they sat on their hands, then burgered off back to the comfort of their station leaving a lone volunteer from the animal hospital equipped only with waders and a net to do their work for them.
[quote][p][bold]edstar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LiberalsOut[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sjsunny[/bold] wrote: I wish i had the benefit of a final salary public sector pension - I sure would not be striking, even if I had to wait an additional 5 years to age of 60 to claim it![/p][/quote]Spot on Dont forget if we were not paying taxes in the private sector there would be no money to give the public sector jobs in the first place In the real world we have not had wage rises for over 5 years and our pensions have been screwed by Gordon Brown onwards[/p][/quote]Just to let you know, unless you are at the top, there are no more final pay pensions in the public sector. Also, unlike the private sector, there is no bonus culture and huge wages in the public sector. Well unless you are at the top. As for fire fighters, they put themselves at risk and do a very difficult job and they should be rewarded accordingly.[/p][/quote]They certainly put themselves at risk in the case of the drowning gull on Carshalton Ponds a couple of years back, didn't they? They came (mob handed), they saw, they sat on their hands, then burgered off back to the comfort of their station leaving a lone volunteer from the animal hospital equipped only with waders and a net to do their work for them. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 9

9:31pm Fri 25 Apr 14

AlphaEcho says...

As a retired firefighter who is lucky enough not to be affected by the current pension’s dispute I do feel as though I must stick up for my former colleagues in this matter. There are a number of points that seem to have been forgotten in this issue. For many years firefighters had to join the Fire Fighters Pension Scheme, they had no option, when changes to the scheme were made and they were allowed to opt out they were actively told not to - the reason being was that they were GUARANTEED by the Government to have the benefits awarded to them that they had signed up for.

In the current dispute which has been going on behind the scenes for years the government refuses to take on board the advice of one of its own advisors who states that the government’s proposals are unworkable, due to the nature of the job a majority of firefighters would be unable to fulfil the fitness criteria set by the government, not because they were unfit but because of the way the body naturally ages, consequently many firefighters approaching retirement could be in a position where they could be dismissed from the service under the guise of capability and would consequently then lose their pension. The reason firefighters are taking this industrial action is to defend what they were promised by numerous governments in the past.

The simple way to resolve this dispute is for the government to honour their previous promises with regards to firefighter’s pensions. The number of firefighters affected by this will reduce over the years as newer entrants are on a different pension scheme.

The local government minister responsible for this mess - Brandon Lewis recently stated that less than half of firefighters would be affected by these changes; it doesn't take a genius to work out that more than half will be affected. Taking industrial action in a profession such as this is the hardest decision I ever had to make in over 30 years in the service, so please don't think firefighters are entering into this easily.

With regards to the likes of the Carlshalton ponds fiasco, don't blame those who turn up on the fire engines, they are restrained from getting on and doing things by procedures and health & safety - you think they like being mocked!

Finally, if you think that firefighters have an easy life why don't you go down to your local station and actually ask them what they do. Let them tell you about the massive amount of training they have to undertake to remain proficient in their various skills. It's not just about pouring water on fires, that's the easy bit, ask about technical rescue, chemical, biological, radiation & nuclear incidents they would be expected to attend and deal with along with all the other unmentioned incidents they go to when everyone else is in the process of running away.

And don't forget, they will be their 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year because they actually do care about the public, that’s why they give up the Christmases, weekends and other times of the year when you are with your families (and no they don’t get double or triple time for doing so). At the end of the day all they want is what they were promised when they joined the job. If you think you can do better, why not apply to join the fire service and change it from the inside instead of taking pot shots at those on the front line who just want to do the job to the best of their ability – despite being made to look like bad guys by the government.
As a retired firefighter who is lucky enough not to be affected by the current pension’s dispute I do feel as though I must stick up for my former colleagues in this matter. There are a number of points that seem to have been forgotten in this issue. For many years firefighters had to join the Fire Fighters Pension Scheme, they had no option, when changes to the scheme were made and they were allowed to opt out they were actively told not to - the reason being was that they were GUARANTEED by the Government to have the benefits awarded to them that they had signed up for. In the current dispute which has been going on behind the scenes for years the government refuses to take on board the advice of one of its own advisors who states that the government’s proposals are unworkable, due to the nature of the job a majority of firefighters would be unable to fulfil the fitness criteria set by the government, not because they were unfit but because of the way the body naturally ages, consequently many firefighters approaching retirement could be in a position where they could be dismissed from the service under the guise of capability and would consequently then lose their pension. The reason firefighters are taking this industrial action is to defend what they were promised by numerous governments in the past. The simple way to resolve this dispute is for the government to honour their previous promises with regards to firefighter’s pensions. The number of firefighters affected by this will reduce over the years as newer entrants are on a different pension scheme. The local government minister responsible for this mess - Brandon Lewis recently stated that less than half of firefighters would be affected by these changes; it doesn't take a genius to work out that more than half will be affected. Taking industrial action in a profession such as this is the hardest decision I ever had to make in over 30 years in the service, so please don't think firefighters are entering into this easily. With regards to the likes of the Carlshalton ponds fiasco, don't blame those who turn up on the fire engines, they are restrained from getting on and doing things by procedures and health & safety - you think they like being mocked! Finally, if you think that firefighters have an easy life why don't you go down to your local station and actually ask them what they do. Let them tell you about the massive amount of training they have to undertake to remain proficient in their various skills. It's not just about pouring water on fires, that's the easy bit, ask about technical rescue, chemical, biological, radiation & nuclear incidents they would be expected to attend and deal with along with all the other unmentioned incidents they go to when everyone else is in the process of running away. And don't forget, they will be their 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year because they actually do care about the public, that’s why they give up the Christmases, weekends and other times of the year when you are with your families (and no they don’t get double or triple time for doing so). At the end of the day all they want is what they were promised when they joined the job. If you think you can do better, why not apply to join the fire service and change it from the inside instead of taking pot shots at those on the front line who just want to do the job to the best of their ability – despite being made to look like bad guys by the government. AlphaEcho
  • Score: 6

9:47pm Fri 25 Apr 14

metis says...

AlphaEcho wrote:
As a retired firefighter who is lucky enough not to be affected by the current pension’s dispute I do feel as though I must stick up for my former colleagues in this matter. There are a number of points that seem to have been forgotten in this issue. For many years firefighters had to join the Fire Fighters Pension Scheme, they had no option, when changes to the scheme were made and they were allowed to opt out they were actively told not to - the reason being was that they were GUARANTEED by the Government to have the benefits awarded to them that they had signed up for.

In the current dispute which has been going on behind the scenes for years the government refuses to take on board the advice of one of its own advisors who states that the government’s proposals are unworkable, due to the nature of the job a majority of firefighters would be unable to fulfil the fitness criteria set by the government, not because they were unfit but because of the way the body naturally ages, consequently many firefighters approaching retirement could be in a position where they could be dismissed from the service under the guise of capability and would consequently then lose their pension. The reason firefighters are taking this industrial action is to defend what they were promised by numerous governments in the past.

The simple way to resolve this dispute is for the government to honour their previous promises with regards to firefighter’s pensions. The number of firefighters affected by this will reduce over the years as newer entrants are on a different pension scheme.

The local government minister responsible for this mess - Brandon Lewis recently stated that less than half of firefighters would be affected by these changes; it doesn't take a genius to work out that more than half will be affected. Taking industrial action in a profession such as this is the hardest decision I ever had to make in over 30 years in the service, so please don't think firefighters are entering into this easily.

With regards to the likes of the Carlshalton ponds fiasco, don't blame those who turn up on the fire engines, they are restrained from getting on and doing things by procedures and health & safety - you think they like being mocked!

Finally, if you think that firefighters have an easy life why don't you go down to your local station and actually ask them what they do. Let them tell you about the massive amount of training they have to undertake to remain proficient in their various skills. It's not just about pouring water on fires, that's the easy bit, ask about technical rescue, chemical, biological, radiation & nuclear incidents they would be expected to attend and deal with along with all the other unmentioned incidents they go to when everyone else is in the process of running away.

And don't forget, they will be their 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year because they actually do care about the public, that’s why they give up the Christmases, weekends and other times of the year when you are with your families (and no they don’t get double or triple time for doing so). At the end of the day all they want is what they were promised when they joined the job. If you think you can do better, why not apply to join the fire service and change it from the inside instead of taking pot shots at those on the front line who just want to do the job to the best of their ability – despite being made to look like bad guys by the government.
If you put up with it for 30years - cant have been that bad!
[quote][p][bold]AlphaEcho[/bold] wrote: As a retired firefighter who is lucky enough not to be affected by the current pension’s dispute I do feel as though I must stick up for my former colleagues in this matter. There are a number of points that seem to have been forgotten in this issue. For many years firefighters had to join the Fire Fighters Pension Scheme, they had no option, when changes to the scheme were made and they were allowed to opt out they were actively told not to - the reason being was that they were GUARANTEED by the Government to have the benefits awarded to them that they had signed up for. In the current dispute which has been going on behind the scenes for years the government refuses to take on board the advice of one of its own advisors who states that the government’s proposals are unworkable, due to the nature of the job a majority of firefighters would be unable to fulfil the fitness criteria set by the government, not because they were unfit but because of the way the body naturally ages, consequently many firefighters approaching retirement could be in a position where they could be dismissed from the service under the guise of capability and would consequently then lose their pension. The reason firefighters are taking this industrial action is to defend what they were promised by numerous governments in the past. The simple way to resolve this dispute is for the government to honour their previous promises with regards to firefighter’s pensions. The number of firefighters affected by this will reduce over the years as newer entrants are on a different pension scheme. The local government minister responsible for this mess - Brandon Lewis recently stated that less than half of firefighters would be affected by these changes; it doesn't take a genius to work out that more than half will be affected. Taking industrial action in a profession such as this is the hardest decision I ever had to make in over 30 years in the service, so please don't think firefighters are entering into this easily. With regards to the likes of the Carlshalton ponds fiasco, don't blame those who turn up on the fire engines, they are restrained from getting on and doing things by procedures and health & safety - you think they like being mocked! Finally, if you think that firefighters have an easy life why don't you go down to your local station and actually ask them what they do. Let them tell you about the massive amount of training they have to undertake to remain proficient in their various skills. It's not just about pouring water on fires, that's the easy bit, ask about technical rescue, chemical, biological, radiation & nuclear incidents they would be expected to attend and deal with along with all the other unmentioned incidents they go to when everyone else is in the process of running away. And don't forget, they will be their 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year because they actually do care about the public, that’s why they give up the Christmases, weekends and other times of the year when you are with your families (and no they don’t get double or triple time for doing so). At the end of the day all they want is what they were promised when they joined the job. If you think you can do better, why not apply to join the fire service and change it from the inside instead of taking pot shots at those on the front line who just want to do the job to the best of their ability – despite being made to look like bad guys by the government.[/p][/quote]If you put up with it for 30years - cant have been that bad! metis
  • Score: 1

11:55pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Hatersgonnahate says...

You get out of a pension what you put into it. Firefighters pay over 14% of their salary into a pension they were promised. If you want a decent pension pay into it or defend it. We are fighting what we were promised & not a pension to be changed mid-service by paying in more, working longer & getting less. If you don't have a decent pension it's not my fault but most importantly it's not a race to the bottom to have the worse pension. If you didn't invest or save into a pension or fight to defend it then boo hoo & go peel me an onion! I'll defend my pension to the hilt & withdraw my labour until it's resolved. For the record firefighters pensions were overhauled in 2006 to make it affordable so don't come back for a second attack. Firefighters, teachers or nurses never created this financial mess, nor did we cause the collapse of banks so we have no intention of paying for it. If you have an issue with that speak to your MP who voted through a inflation busting 11% pay rise for themselves.
Whatever you think firefighters do it's water off a ducks back, heard it all before via The Sun & Mail, join the bandwagon. When your house is on fire or involved in a car accident we'll be there in minutes 24/7 365 days a year. What we do in-between is irrelevant nor will I defend the myths or lies most of you believe. If you want a firefighter at 60 rescuing you fine, I'm aware of the requirements your not. Why did the governments own report state 2/3 of firefighters will not maintain the required fitness after age 55 & why do all fire authorities state that if we're unfit under their own criteria will be sacked & have a reduced & deferred pension?
Current protection also for your info is not set at 2012 & quotes and assumptions on what a firefighter gets or doesn't is far more complex than the vast majority of NS readers will be able to comprehend.
Unless a new deal is offered we'll be out the door. My station will not be picketing so save your drive-by abuse & see how well 27 appliances crewed by part-time bouncers & knuckle heads instead of the usual 100 appliances crewed by professionals gets you. And oh! by the way I refuse to be emotional blackmailed by the usual NS taunts, I just want the pension I paid into & was promised. We save people not banks so check your smoke alarm & get your facts right.
You get out of a pension what you put into it. Firefighters pay over 14% of their salary into a pension they were promised. If you want a decent pension pay into it or defend it. We are fighting what we were promised & not a pension to be changed mid-service by paying in more, working longer & getting less. If you don't have a decent pension it's not my fault but most importantly it's not a race to the bottom to have the worse pension. If you didn't invest or save into a pension or fight to defend it then boo hoo & go peel me an onion! I'll defend my pension to the hilt & withdraw my labour until it's resolved. For the record firefighters pensions were overhauled in 2006 to make it affordable so don't come back for a second attack. Firefighters, teachers or nurses never created this financial mess, nor did we cause the collapse of banks so we have no intention of paying for it. If you have an issue with that speak to your MP who voted through a inflation busting 11% pay rise for themselves. Whatever you think firefighters do it's water off a ducks back, heard it all before via The Sun & Mail, join the bandwagon. When your house is on fire or involved in a car accident we'll be there in minutes 24/7 365 days a year. What we do in-between is irrelevant nor will I defend the myths or lies most of you believe. If you want a firefighter at 60 rescuing you fine, I'm aware of the requirements your not. Why did the governments own report state 2/3 of firefighters will not maintain the required fitness after age 55 & why do all fire authorities state that if we're unfit under their own criteria will be sacked & have a reduced & deferred pension? Current protection also for your info is not set at 2012 & quotes and assumptions on what a firefighter gets or doesn't is far more complex than the vast majority of NS readers will be able to comprehend. Unless a new deal is offered we'll be out the door. My station will not be picketing so save your drive-by abuse & see how well 27 appliances crewed by part-time bouncers & knuckle heads instead of the usual 100 appliances crewed by professionals gets you. And oh! by the way I refuse to be emotional blackmailed by the usual NS taunts, I just want the pension I paid into & was promised. We save people not banks so check your smoke alarm & get your facts right. Hatersgonnahate
  • Score: 5

11:56pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Hatersgonnahate says...

Support your firefighters.

Picture this: you walk into McDonalds and order a double McCheese Burger. The sales assistant tells you it’ll cost £2, and you hand over your freshly minted £2 piece. The assistant goes away and comes back with a single McCheese Burger. You enquire as to why he’s given you a single McCheese Burger, when you bought and paid for a double. Then he replies “sorry sir, I know that’s what you ordered, and I know that’s what you paid for, but the economic circumstances of McDonalds have changed since you paid and I am only now going to give you a single, so we can help reduce our deficit” Would you accept that as a good explanation?

That’s what your government, and I do say your government, is trying to do to the Fire Fighters and Fire Services in The UK. They want to save 73 million pounds by halving the fire fighter’s pensions if they retire at 55, when they are currently entitled to. If they want the full pension they’ll have to work to at least the age of 60.

You might think that sounds ridiculous. I think most people would find that to be drastically unfair. I think most people would think if you join a pension service on certain terms then your provider should not be the one trying to get out of it – especially when you know they used some of your money to prop up failing banks that they allowed to act like drunken arseholes with your money, whilst you worked your nads off to support your family through the crisis they created. You might think that and you’d be right too. But your government doesn’t see it that way. Not only is it doing this to fire fighters, it’s doing it to the police and teachers too.

If you don’t think it’s a problem, why don’t you apply this line of thought to your own life. Try renegotiating your contract with your mobile phone provider. Tell them you don’t fancy paying the full rate any more. Even tell the government you don’t like your council tax band and you’re going to move down a few – see what happens. One rule for you buddy - it’s quite another for them.

Let’s forget all the scare mongering and hyperbole. It’s simply morally abhorrent to take money from employees to fund a pension, on the promise of a certain payout at the end, then change it so drastically before they get it.

You could change it for new entrants. It wouldn’t be a good idea if you want a good fire service, but it would be morally more defensible. You cannot morally do this to anyone who has joined on the basis of the current pension.

Oh and a few points for anyone still against the fire fighters:-

Yeah some of them have 4 day on / 4 days off patterns and they get second jobs – they work a full week in those 4 days so you get your money’s worth. Unless they spend the other 4 days as an arsonist, It’s not your business what they do in their days off. However no one is stopping you from taking a second job either.

They get paid a good wage – sure they do, but that’s an argument to raise your wages, not to destroy their pension. Don’t be so bloody British about it i.e. petty, small minded and jealous.

I have to work until 60 – you may have to, but imagine a fire fighter dragging around heavy hoses and running up stairs in an oxygen tank. How long you think that oxygen will last if the guy breathing it is 58?

They should stay fit – big talk from one of the most obese populations in the world. I did their training during the last strike, as an emergency trained fire fighter with the RAF. There were guys in the RAF in their 40′s on the same course as me who sucked in oxygen at such a rate their tanks ran out far too quick to save your life in a fast fire.

And another thing, do you really think the government expects to have 60 year old fire fighters? No of course it doesn’t. It knows that what’s more likely is that the current set will get annoyed and demoralised. They know some of them will fail the fitness test and that a good number will simply leave before they get to 55. It’s the same strategy they’ve employed with the police. They hope to stop people from joining the services for life, just so they don’t have to pay good pensions. Their chosen employee is a young 25 year old, who joins for a few years, gains some experience then uses it to get a better job.

Believe me, the actions of the government will save money. There’s no doubt about that. The problem is that it’ll be at the expense of expertise, ability, safety, capability, and essentially all of the qualities that you’ll expect from the person who comes to save you from your fire, investigate your crime, or teach your children.

If you want good public services, you’ve got to pay for them, and you’ve got to be fair with their pensions. If you don’t support them, you won’t have a leg to stand on when the government comes for your money and your pensions.
Support your firefighters. Picture this: you walk into McDonalds and order a double McCheese Burger. The sales assistant tells you it’ll cost £2, and you hand over your freshly minted £2 piece. The assistant goes away and comes back with a single McCheese Burger. You enquire as to why he’s given you a single McCheese Burger, when you bought and paid for a double. Then he replies “sorry sir, I know that’s what you ordered, and I know that’s what you paid for, but the economic circumstances of McDonalds have changed since you paid and I am only now going to give you a single, so we can help reduce our deficit” Would you accept that as a good explanation? That’s what your government, and I do say your government, is trying to do to the Fire Fighters and Fire Services in The UK. They want to save 73 million pounds by halving the fire fighter’s pensions if they retire at 55, when they are currently entitled to. If they want the full pension they’ll have to work to at least the age of 60. You might think that sounds ridiculous. I think most people would find that to be drastically unfair. I think most people would think if you join a pension service on certain terms then your provider should not be the one trying to get out of it – especially when you know they used some of your money to prop up failing banks that they allowed to act like drunken arseholes with your money, whilst you worked your nads off to support your family through the crisis they created. You might think that and you’d be right too. But your government doesn’t see it that way. Not only is it doing this to fire fighters, it’s doing it to the police and teachers too. If you don’t think it’s a problem, why don’t you apply this line of thought to your own life. Try renegotiating your contract with your mobile phone provider. Tell them you don’t fancy paying the full rate any more. Even tell the government you don’t like your council tax band and you’re going to move down a few – see what happens. One rule for you buddy - it’s quite another for them. Let’s forget all the scare mongering and hyperbole. It’s simply morally abhorrent to take money from employees to fund a pension, on the promise of a certain payout at the end, then change it so drastically before they get it. You could change it for new entrants. It wouldn’t be a good idea if you want a good fire service, but it would be morally more defensible. You cannot morally do this to anyone who has joined on the basis of the current pension. Oh and a few points for anyone still against the fire fighters:- Yeah some of them have 4 day on / 4 days off patterns and they get second jobs – they work a full week in those 4 days so you get your money’s worth. Unless they spend the other 4 days as an arsonist, It’s not your business what they do in their days off. However no one is stopping you from taking a second job either. They get paid a good wage – sure they do, but that’s an argument to raise your wages, not to destroy their pension. Don’t be so bloody British about it i.e. petty, small minded and jealous. I have to work until 60 – you may have to, but imagine a fire fighter dragging around heavy hoses and running up stairs in an oxygen tank. How long you think that oxygen will last if the guy breathing it is 58? They should stay fit – big talk from one of the most obese populations in the world. I did their training during the last strike, as an emergency trained fire fighter with the RAF. There were guys in the RAF in their 40′s on the same course as me who sucked in oxygen at such a rate their tanks ran out far too quick to save your life in a fast fire. And another thing, do you really think the government expects to have 60 year old fire fighters? No of course it doesn’t. It knows that what’s more likely is that the current set will get annoyed and demoralised. They know some of them will fail the fitness test and that a good number will simply leave before they get to 55. It’s the same strategy they’ve employed with the police. They hope to stop people from joining the services for life, just so they don’t have to pay good pensions. Their chosen employee is a young 25 year old, who joins for a few years, gains some experience then uses it to get a better job. Believe me, the actions of the government will save money. There’s no doubt about that. The problem is that it’ll be at the expense of expertise, ability, safety, capability, and essentially all of the qualities that you’ll expect from the person who comes to save you from your fire, investigate your crime, or teach your children. If you want good public services, you’ve got to pay for them, and you’ve got to be fair with their pensions. If you don’t support them, you won’t have a leg to stand on when the government comes for your money and your pensions. Hatersgonnahate
  • Score: 9

11:57pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Hatersgonnahate says...

As firefighters vote to strike over new pension plans, both the government and the unions have locked horns over the generosity of the schemes.
Public sector pension reform began with a paragraph, became a 200 page report, later passed through parliament and this year became law. For firefighters, however, this hasn't turned out to be the end of the story.
Instead, last month the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which represents 85% of uniformed staff of the UK fire and rescue service, voted to strike over the government's position on firefighters' pensions.
The FBU opposes the pension reforms that have been put forward, saying it involves "unaffordable and unfair contribution rates", "a totally unrealistic retirement age for firefighters" and "an unsustainable scheme for the fire service".
Meanwhile, the government argues it's a generous offer. Minister Brandon Lewis was quoted as saying:
"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."
£26,000 - generous?
Many people would consider this sum - roughly equivalent to the median annual earnings for an employee - as generous for a pension, and more so when considering a 'competent' (fully trained) firefighter can expect an annual salary of just under £28,500.
But a closer reading suggests this is an unrealistic sum for most firefighters. First of all, £7,000 in state pension has been added, but the State Pension is only payable at state pension age (65 and rising), whereas the government's current proposals suggest an occupational retirement age of 60. So in reality, the government's example firefighter would only be getting £19,000 a year when they actually retire.
So a better question is whether £19,000 is a 'normal' pension for a firefighter.
£19,000 - normal?
That's where things get tricky - currently most firefighters will be under one of two schemes - the Firefighters Pension Scheme (1992) and the New Firefighters Pension Scheme (2006). Two-thirds of scheme members find themselves in the former.
A firefighter under the 1992 scheme gets a pension worth a fraction of their final salary, dependent on their length of service. The most they can get is 2/3 of their salary. Someone earning £28,500 retiring with 20 years of service would receive a pension of £9,500 a year, but a colleague on the same salary who had spent 30 years as a firefighter would get an annual income of £19,000. The only way a firefighter could receive a pension larger than £19,000 per year is through additional contributions from their own income.
The 2006 scheme changed this so that the pensions pot accrued more slowly - after 30 years the pot would only be worth £14,250 (with no additional contributions) but goes up to £19,000 after 40 years (and can still grow after 40 years).
So at the moment, a firefighter gets the kind of pension the government is talking about if they serve 30-40 years and have a final salary of around £28,500 (though some will finish on higher salaries if they're promoted to managers, and so get higher pensions anyway).
Under the new proposals, firefighters contribute more, get a pension based on their career average earnings rather than final salary, and accrue their pot at a slightly faster rate for each year of service. For long-serving staff, the outcomes are similar: a firefighter serving for 40 years earning about £28,500 on average over the course of their career gets about £19,000 per year for a pension.
40 years service - realistic?
Serving 40 years without any reduction for early retirement normally means joining the fire service not much later than age 20 and working up to the proposed retirement age of 60 (the same as the 2006 scheme but five years higher than the 1992 scheme).
Figures on what a 'normal' service length is aren't readily available, although the government suggested in 2011 that only 1% currently work past age 55. The FBU and others have argued that since uniformed ocupations such as the fire service require a certain level of physical fitness, the normal pension age shouldn't be this high in the first place - so for most firefighters 40 years would put them beyond adequate fitness for the service.
The evidence they cite is a 2012 review of how firefighters' abilities change with age. The study analysed existing literature and found that, based on data from four fire services, at 50-54 years of age half of firefighters were below a 'minimum standard' of fitness, while two thirds fell below it at 55-60 years (this isn't a universally agreed measure, so the research used existing practices as a benchmark).
The evidence isn't conclusive about exactly how many firefighters can be expected to fall away from fitness standards in their 50s but does suggest this will be an issue for many trying to clock up the 40 years' service required to reach the Minister's example.
So whether or not we could expect most firefighters to receive the £19,000 upon retirement is perhaps a more contentious issue than the Minister suggests.
As firefighters vote to strike over new pension plans, both the government and the unions have locked horns over the generosity of the schemes. Public sector pension reform began with a paragraph, became a 200 page report, later passed through parliament and this year became law. For firefighters, however, this hasn't turned out to be the end of the story. Instead, last month the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which represents 85% of uniformed staff of the UK fire and rescue service, voted to strike over the government's position on firefighters' pensions. The FBU opposes the pension reforms that have been put forward, saying it involves "unaffordable and unfair contribution rates", "a totally unrealistic retirement age for firefighters" and "an unsustainable scheme for the fire service". Meanwhile, the government argues it's a generous offer. Minister Brandon Lewis was quoted as saying: "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." £26,000 - generous? Many people would consider this sum - roughly equivalent to the median annual earnings for an employee - as generous for a pension, and more so when considering a 'competent' (fully trained) firefighter can expect an annual salary of just under £28,500. But a closer reading suggests this is an unrealistic sum for most firefighters. First of all, £7,000 in state pension has been added, but the State Pension is only payable at state pension age (65 and rising), whereas the government's current proposals suggest an occupational retirement age of 60. So in reality, the government's example firefighter would only be getting £19,000 a year when they actually retire. So a better question is whether £19,000 is a 'normal' pension for a firefighter. £19,000 - normal? That's where things get tricky - currently most firefighters will be under one of two schemes - the Firefighters Pension Scheme (1992) and the New Firefighters Pension Scheme (2006). Two-thirds of scheme members find themselves in the former. A firefighter under the 1992 scheme gets a pension worth a fraction of their final salary, dependent on their length of service. The most they can get is 2/3 of their salary. Someone earning £28,500 retiring with 20 years of service would receive a pension of £9,500 a year, but a colleague on the same salary who had spent 30 years as a firefighter would get an annual income of £19,000. The only way a firefighter could receive a pension larger than £19,000 per year is through additional contributions from their own income. The 2006 scheme changed this so that the pensions pot accrued more slowly - after 30 years the pot would only be worth £14,250 (with no additional contributions) but goes up to £19,000 after 40 years (and can still grow after 40 years). So at the moment, a firefighter gets the kind of pension the government is talking about if they serve 30-40 years and have a final salary of around £28,500 (though some will finish on higher salaries if they're promoted to managers, and so get higher pensions anyway). Under the new proposals, firefighters contribute more, get a pension based on their career average earnings rather than final salary, and accrue their pot at a slightly faster rate for each year of service. For long-serving staff, the outcomes are similar: a firefighter serving for 40 years earning about £28,500 on average over the course of their career gets about £19,000 per year for a pension. 40 years service - realistic? Serving 40 years without any reduction for early retirement normally means joining the fire service not much later than age 20 and working up to the proposed retirement age of 60 (the same as the 2006 scheme but five years higher than the 1992 scheme). Figures on what a 'normal' service length is aren't readily available, although the government suggested in 2011 that only 1% currently work past age 55. The FBU and others have argued that since uniformed ocupations such as the fire service require a certain level of physical fitness, the normal pension age shouldn't be this high in the first place - so for most firefighters 40 years would put them beyond adequate fitness for the service. The evidence they cite is a 2012 review of how firefighters' abilities change with age. The study analysed existing literature and found that, based on data from four fire services, at 50-54 years of age half of firefighters were below a 'minimum standard' of fitness, while two thirds fell below it at 55-60 years (this isn't a universally agreed measure, so the research used existing practices as a benchmark). The evidence isn't conclusive about exactly how many firefighters can be expected to fall away from fitness standards in their 50s but does suggest this will be an issue for many trying to clock up the 40 years' service required to reach the Minister's example. So whether or not we could expect most firefighters to receive the £19,000 upon retirement is perhaps a more contentious issue than the Minister suggests. Hatersgonnahate
  • Score: 2

11:58pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Hatersgonnahate says...

Why the firefighters matter.

About 36 hours ago now, I wrote a blog post supporting the fire fighters in their 4 hour strike over the cuts to their pensions. Up to now it’s had a little under 17000 views. Understandably, emotions ran a bit high over it and I received literally hundreds of comments and tweets on the content of the post. For you fire fighters out there, I’d say around 99% of those comments were in support.

No matter what you say, or how reasonable your logic, there will always be that small group of people who disagree. Despite the fact they were relatively small in number, the sheer volume of comments I received meant I simply couldn’t get into the argument with all of them individually.

Let me say, that I can handle disagreement. I like to have a reasoned exchange of views with people. There are always two sides to every argument and to make a valid point you’ve got to be fair to all, but these arguments were the kind that just started with an aggressive tone, and got worse as time went on.

But fear not if you took the time to wipe the rabid foam from your mouths, to compose an abusive tweet via the bashing of your gnarled, embittered digits against your phlegm speckled keyboard, rest assured that I did notice, and reply below to the common themes:-

60 year olds could keep themselves fit and pass the fitness test – of course they could. I never said they couldn’t do it. I asked you to picture a 58 year old running around with an air tank on their back, whilst dragging heavy hoses. I would agree that there are 60 years olds that could do even that, you may even know them. But I’d hazard a guess that most 60 year olds couldn’t. And for the sake of a reasonable debate; don’t reference the fitness levels of 72 year olds you know – some people know pilots that have been in space, it doesn’t mean that everyone is capable of being an astronaut. (33% of fire fighters are estimated to fail the test – which will be the older staff which means the government will steal a bigger slice of their pension pot)

Retiring on £19000 a year is a good pension – yes it is, which is why they joined it, paid their contributions and looked forward to getting it. However £19000 is the maximum they can get, if joining at 20 and working for 40 years. We won’t settle this without an honest debate, so use an honest number.

Stop using the ‘saving persons from a burning building analogy it’s their job’ – really…? If they saved you and your family from your burning building, you’d wipe yourself down say ‘well, don’t expect thanks from me – you were just doing your job’.
Well, yes they were, but it’s a kind of special job don’t you think? And it demands decent pay. Imagine the job advert in your world: “Fire Fighter’s needed. Duties occasionally include entering burning buildings, cutting people out of cars in hostile conditions and fire prevention. Salary: from just above bread line to crap, dependant on experience”.

The economic situation is all Labour’s fault – that’s a bigger argument, but I don’t really care. Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem, the representatives of the supposedly Great British Public promised those fire fighters those pensions in exchange for work and contributions. They gave the work and the money, now give them the pensions you promised.

I’d love to get such a high pension – WELL WHY DIDN’T YOU BECOME A FIRE FIGHTER THEN?!?!? this is the only argument that simply fills me with utter rage. Each and every one of those fire fighters had to apply for those jobs. If you wanted that pension, or their wages, why didn’t you get the job yourself? Or any one of the other public sector jobs that have a good pension attached? The fact that you have a terrible pension is not an argument to reduce somebody else’s. As I said before it’s the very worst characteristics of being British – the petty small minded, jealous mind-set that just can’t stand to see someone else do better. And don’t forget one of the reasons they have a better pension than you is because they pay more into it than you do.

You missed out the armed forces, the nurses, etc etc – yes I did. I did so because I have limited time on my hands and I can’t get into each one. The fact is that the entire public sector is being screwed over.

I understand that we’ve got to cut costs and it’s got to be quick and radical, but it’s got to be fair.

It’s not fair to say to those soldiers, go to Afghanistan and protect the country, but you might be made redundant in a few years, and we don’t have any harriers to protect you with, or even an aircraft carrier to launch them from.

It’s not fair to say to a nurse, tend my wounds, dodge the angry drunk in A&E, clean the corridors and solve MRSA and take the blame for every mis-step caused by stupid government targets, but don’t expect the pay rise we promised you next year.

It’s not fair to say to teachers, put up with threats from pupils and parents, get our school into the top of the exam league tables, meet our targets and take the blame for not spotting child abuse, but don’t expect the pension we promised.

I missed out the forces and nurses, and all the other public sector workers, because my last post was for the public sector in it’s entirety. I mentioned the Fire fighters because they were getting a kicking by dishonest people who are supposed to support them. I’m no supporter of socialism, read the rest of my blog to see that, I’m no supporter of conservatism either. What I do support is the concept of fairness.

Fair is a word that has become increasingly warped over the years in the UK. So let me bend it back into shape. If you pay for something, you should get it. There should be no question about it. You could change the pension scheme for new entrants, that would be fair. You could reduce the salary scales for new entrants too, that would be fair. You could hold a referendum asking if the public would be prepared to have poorer public services in exchange for a drop in taxes, that would also be fair.

What is not fair, is promising a certain pension and wage, in exchange for performing their duties at a very high level of competence, and then when they do so, refuse to give them the pension and wage that was promised.

That’s why I support the fire fighters, and all the public services and in fact anyone screwed out of their pension in the public OR private sectors. They’re just asking for what you promised them. Not a penny more, nor a penny less. They did their bit, now you do yours. Don’t dip out on your commitments just because it’s convenient. Because if you abandon your commitment to fairness, then you won’t be able to argue when the government treats you unfairly.

The Beard.
Why the firefighters matter. About 36 hours ago now, I wrote a blog post supporting the fire fighters in their 4 hour strike over the cuts to their pensions. Up to now it’s had a little under 17000 views. Understandably, emotions ran a bit high over it and I received literally hundreds of comments and tweets on the content of the post. For you fire fighters out there, I’d say around 99% of those comments were in support. No matter what you say, or how reasonable your logic, there will always be that small group of people who disagree. Despite the fact they were relatively small in number, the sheer volume of comments I received meant I simply couldn’t get into the argument with all of them individually. Let me say, that I can handle disagreement. I like to have a reasoned exchange of views with people. There are always two sides to every argument and to make a valid point you’ve got to be fair to all, but these arguments were the kind that just started with an aggressive tone, and got worse as time went on. But fear not if you took the time to wipe the rabid foam from your mouths, to compose an abusive tweet via the bashing of your gnarled, embittered digits against your phlegm speckled keyboard, rest assured that I did notice, and reply below to the common themes:- 60 year olds could keep themselves fit and pass the fitness test – of course they could. I never said they couldn’t do it. I asked you to picture a 58 year old running around with an air tank on their back, whilst dragging heavy hoses. I would agree that there are 60 years olds that could do even that, you may even know them. But I’d hazard a guess that most 60 year olds couldn’t. And for the sake of a reasonable debate; don’t reference the fitness levels of 72 year olds you know – some people know pilots that have been in space, it doesn’t mean that everyone is capable of being an astronaut. (33% of fire fighters are estimated to fail the test – which will be the older staff which means the government will steal a bigger slice of their pension pot) Retiring on £19000 a year is a good pension – yes it is, which is why they joined it, paid their contributions and looked forward to getting it. However £19000 is the maximum they can get, if joining at 20 and working for 40 years. We won’t settle this without an honest debate, so use an honest number. Stop using the ‘saving persons from a burning building analogy it’s their job’ – really…? If they saved you and your family from your burning building, you’d wipe yourself down say ‘well, don’t expect thanks from me – you were just doing your job’. Well, yes they were, but it’s a kind of special job don’t you think? And it demands decent pay. Imagine the job advert in your world: “Fire Fighter’s needed. Duties occasionally include entering burning buildings, cutting people out of cars in hostile conditions and fire prevention. Salary: from just above bread line to crap, dependant on experience”. The economic situation is all Labour’s fault – that’s a bigger argument, but I don’t really care. Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem, the representatives of the supposedly Great British Public promised those fire fighters those pensions in exchange for work and contributions. They gave the work and the money, now give them the pensions you promised. I’d love to get such a high pension – WELL WHY DIDN’T YOU BECOME A FIRE FIGHTER THEN?!?!? this is the only argument that simply fills me with utter rage. Each and every one of those fire fighters had to apply for those jobs. If you wanted that pension, or their wages, why didn’t you get the job yourself? Or any one of the other public sector jobs that have a good pension attached? The fact that you have a terrible pension is not an argument to reduce somebody else’s. As I said before it’s the very worst characteristics of being British – the petty small minded, jealous mind-set that just can’t stand to see someone else do better. And don’t forget one of the reasons they have a better pension than you is because they pay more into it than you do. You missed out the armed forces, the nurses, etc etc – yes I did. I did so because I have limited time on my hands and I can’t get into each one. The fact is that the entire public sector is being screwed over. I understand that we’ve got to cut costs and it’s got to be quick and radical, but it’s got to be fair. It’s not fair to say to those soldiers, go to Afghanistan and protect the country, but you might be made redundant in a few years, and we don’t have any harriers to protect you with, or even an aircraft carrier to launch them from. It’s not fair to say to a nurse, tend my wounds, dodge the angry drunk in A&E, clean the corridors and solve MRSA and take the blame for every mis-step caused by stupid government targets, but don’t expect the pay rise we promised you next year. It’s not fair to say to teachers, put up with threats from pupils and parents, get our school into the top of the exam league tables, meet our targets and take the blame for not spotting child abuse, but don’t expect the pension we promised. I missed out the forces and nurses, and all the other public sector workers, because my last post was for the public sector in it’s entirety. I mentioned the Fire fighters because they were getting a kicking by dishonest people who are supposed to support them. I’m no supporter of socialism, read the rest of my blog to see that, I’m no supporter of conservatism either. What I do support is the concept of fairness. Fair is a word that has become increasingly warped over the years in the UK. So let me bend it back into shape. If you pay for something, you should get it. There should be no question about it. You could change the pension scheme for new entrants, that would be fair. You could reduce the salary scales for new entrants too, that would be fair. You could hold a referendum asking if the public would be prepared to have poorer public services in exchange for a drop in taxes, that would also be fair. What is not fair, is promising a certain pension and wage, in exchange for performing their duties at a very high level of competence, and then when they do so, refuse to give them the pension and wage that was promised. That’s why I support the fire fighters, and all the public services and in fact anyone screwed out of their pension in the public OR private sectors. They’re just asking for what you promised them. Not a penny more, nor a penny less. They did their bit, now you do yours. Don’t dip out on your commitments just because it’s convenient. Because if you abandon your commitment to fairness, then you won’t be able to argue when the government treats you unfairly. The Beard. Hatersgonnahate
  • Score: 3

12:19am Sat 26 Apr 14

Hatersgonnahate says...

Ps all the serial trolls & haters please vote down all my posts, please mention 'I know a firefighter blah blah blah' how we sleep at night, all have 2nd jobs, play snooker all day. I find all those comments quite comical but honestly you don't want to be the 100th person to claim that. Please mention how bad your pension is that you failed to even take out & to compensate that bitterness I must also get shafted!!!!
Please mention the isolated Daily Mail & The Sun incidents we attended that have been spun out of control & how you knew someone that knew someone that was there so must be true.
I really don't care, evidence is crystal clear in above posts so unless you have the intelligence to counter the credible arguments above I'll be removing my labour for 3 days next week. If you have issues with that either visit a fire station & inform us in person or shut up. Don't forget to check your smoke alarm, you'll need it if relying on the scab crews providing the cut price service you pay council tax for which includes my gold plated pension (sarcasm intended but majority of NS readers/trolls/hater
s/racists & wannabe firefighters will fail to comprehend)
Ps all the serial trolls & haters please vote down all my posts, please mention 'I know a firefighter blah blah blah' how we sleep at night, all have 2nd jobs, play snooker all day. I find all those comments quite comical but honestly you don't want to be the 100th person to claim that. Please mention how bad your pension is that you failed to even take out & to compensate that bitterness I must also get shafted!!!! Please mention the isolated Daily Mail & The Sun incidents we attended that have been spun out of control & how you knew someone that knew someone that was there so must be true. I really don't care, evidence is crystal clear in above posts so unless you have the intelligence to counter the credible arguments above I'll be removing my labour for 3 days next week. If you have issues with that either visit a fire station & inform us in person or shut up. Don't forget to check your smoke alarm, you'll need it if relying on the scab crews providing the cut price service you pay council tax for which includes my gold plated pension (sarcasm intended but majority of NS readers/trolls/hater s/racists & wannabe firefighters will fail to comprehend) Hatersgonnahate
  • Score: 1

10:37pm Sat 26 Apr 14

ANNE GILES says...

Hatersgonnahate wrote:
As firefighters vote to strike over new pension plans, both the government and the unions have locked horns over the generosity of the schemes.
Public sector pension reform began with a paragraph, became a 200 page report, later passed through parliament and this year became law. For firefighters, however, this hasn't turned out to be the end of the story.
Instead, last month the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which represents 85% of uniformed staff of the UK fire and rescue service, voted to strike over the government's position on firefighters' pensions.
The FBU opposes the pension reforms that have been put forward, saying it involves "unaffordable and unfair contribution rates", "a totally unrealistic retirement age for firefighters" and "an unsustainable scheme for the fire service".
Meanwhile, the government argues it's a generous offer. Minister Brandon Lewis was quoted as saying:
"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."
£26,000 - generous?
Many people would consider this sum - roughly equivalent to the median annual earnings for an employee - as generous for a pension, and more so when considering a 'competent' (fully trained) firefighter can expect an annual salary of just under £28,500.
But a closer reading suggests this is an unrealistic sum for most firefighters. First of all, £7,000 in state pension has been added, but the State Pension is only payable at state pension age (65 and rising), whereas the government's current proposals suggest an occupational retirement age of 60. So in reality, the government's example firefighter would only be getting £19,000 a year when they actually retire.
So a better question is whether £19,000 is a 'normal' pension for a firefighter.
£19,000 - normal?
That's where things get tricky - currently most firefighters will be under one of two schemes - the Firefighters Pension Scheme (1992) and the New Firefighters Pension Scheme (2006). Two-thirds of scheme members find themselves in the former.
A firefighter under the 1992 scheme gets a pension worth a fraction of their final salary, dependent on their length of service. The most they can get is 2/3 of their salary. Someone earning £28,500 retiring with 20 years of service would receive a pension of £9,500 a year, but a colleague on the same salary who had spent 30 years as a firefighter would get an annual income of £19,000. The only way a firefighter could receive a pension larger than £19,000 per year is through additional contributions from their own income.
The 2006 scheme changed this so that the pensions pot accrued more slowly - after 30 years the pot would only be worth £14,250 (with no additional contributions) but goes up to £19,000 after 40 years (and can still grow after 40 years).
So at the moment, a firefighter gets the kind of pension the government is talking about if they serve 30-40 years and have a final salary of around £28,500 (though some will finish on higher salaries if they're promoted to managers, and so get higher pensions anyway).
Under the new proposals, firefighters contribute more, get a pension based on their career average earnings rather than final salary, and accrue their pot at a slightly faster rate for each year of service. For long-serving staff, the outcomes are similar: a firefighter serving for 40 years earning about £28,500 on average over the course of their career gets about £19,000 per year for a pension.
40 years service - realistic?
Serving 40 years without any reduction for early retirement normally means joining the fire service not much later than age 20 and working up to the proposed retirement age of 60 (the same as the 2006 scheme but five years higher than the 1992 scheme).
Figures on what a 'normal' service length is aren't readily available, although the government suggested in 2011 that only 1% currently work past age 55. The FBU and others have argued that since uniformed ocupations such as the fire service require a certain level of physical fitness, the normal pension age shouldn't be this high in the first place - so for most firefighters 40 years would put them beyond adequate fitness for the service.
The evidence they cite is a 2012 review of how firefighters' abilities change with age. The study analysed existing literature and found that, based on data from four fire services, at 50-54 years of age half of firefighters were below a 'minimum standard' of fitness, while two thirds fell below it at 55-60 years (this isn't a universally agreed measure, so the research used existing practices as a benchmark).
The evidence isn't conclusive about exactly how many firefighters can be expected to fall away from fitness standards in their 50s but does suggest this will be an issue for many trying to clock up the 40 years' service required to reach the Minister's example.
So whether or not we could expect most firefighters to receive the £19,000 upon retirement is perhaps a more contentious issue than the Minister suggests.
£19,000 year? Lucky devils. That is £1,583 a month. My husband is an accountant, whose net pay per month is around £1,066.
[quote][p][bold]Hatersgonnahate[/bold] wrote: As firefighters vote to strike over new pension plans, both the government and the unions have locked horns over the generosity of the schemes. Public sector pension reform began with a paragraph, became a 200 page report, later passed through parliament and this year became law. For firefighters, however, this hasn't turned out to be the end of the story. Instead, last month the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which represents 85% of uniformed staff of the UK fire and rescue service, voted to strike over the government's position on firefighters' pensions. The FBU opposes the pension reforms that have been put forward, saying it involves "unaffordable and unfair contribution rates", "a totally unrealistic retirement age for firefighters" and "an unsustainable scheme for the fire service". Meanwhile, the government argues it's a generous offer. Minister Brandon Lewis was quoted as saying: "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." £26,000 - generous? Many people would consider this sum - roughly equivalent to the median annual earnings for an employee - as generous for a pension, and more so when considering a 'competent' (fully trained) firefighter can expect an annual salary of just under £28,500. But a closer reading suggests this is an unrealistic sum for most firefighters. First of all, £7,000 in state pension has been added, but the State Pension is only payable at state pension age (65 and rising), whereas the government's current proposals suggest an occupational retirement age of 60. So in reality, the government's example firefighter would only be getting £19,000 a year when they actually retire. So a better question is whether £19,000 is a 'normal' pension for a firefighter. £19,000 - normal? That's where things get tricky - currently most firefighters will be under one of two schemes - the Firefighters Pension Scheme (1992) and the New Firefighters Pension Scheme (2006). Two-thirds of scheme members find themselves in the former. A firefighter under the 1992 scheme gets a pension worth a fraction of their final salary, dependent on their length of service. The most they can get is 2/3 of their salary. Someone earning £28,500 retiring with 20 years of service would receive a pension of £9,500 a year, but a colleague on the same salary who had spent 30 years as a firefighter would get an annual income of £19,000. The only way a firefighter could receive a pension larger than £19,000 per year is through additional contributions from their own income. The 2006 scheme changed this so that the pensions pot accrued more slowly - after 30 years the pot would only be worth £14,250 (with no additional contributions) but goes up to £19,000 after 40 years (and can still grow after 40 years). So at the moment, a firefighter gets the kind of pension the government is talking about if they serve 30-40 years and have a final salary of around £28,500 (though some will finish on higher salaries if they're promoted to managers, and so get higher pensions anyway). Under the new proposals, firefighters contribute more, get a pension based on their career average earnings rather than final salary, and accrue their pot at a slightly faster rate for each year of service. For long-serving staff, the outcomes are similar: a firefighter serving for 40 years earning about £28,500 on average over the course of their career gets about £19,000 per year for a pension. 40 years service - realistic? Serving 40 years without any reduction for early retirement normally means joining the fire service not much later than age 20 and working up to the proposed retirement age of 60 (the same as the 2006 scheme but five years higher than the 1992 scheme). Figures on what a 'normal' service length is aren't readily available, although the government suggested in 2011 that only 1% currently work past age 55. The FBU and others have argued that since uniformed ocupations such as the fire service require a certain level of physical fitness, the normal pension age shouldn't be this high in the first place - so for most firefighters 40 years would put them beyond adequate fitness for the service. The evidence they cite is a 2012 review of how firefighters' abilities change with age. The study analysed existing literature and found that, based on data from four fire services, at 50-54 years of age half of firefighters were below a 'minimum standard' of fitness, while two thirds fell below it at 55-60 years (this isn't a universally agreed measure, so the research used existing practices as a benchmark). The evidence isn't conclusive about exactly how many firefighters can be expected to fall away from fitness standards in their 50s but does suggest this will be an issue for many trying to clock up the 40 years' service required to reach the Minister's example. So whether or not we could expect most firefighters to receive the £19,000 upon retirement is perhaps a more contentious issue than the Minister suggests.[/p][/quote]£19,000 year? Lucky devils. That is £1,583 a month. My husband is an accountant, whose net pay per month is around £1,066. ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Hatersgonnahate says...

ANNE GILES wrote:
Hatersgonnahate wrote:
As firefighters vote to strike over new pension plans, both the government and the unions have locked horns over the generosity of the schemes.
Public sector pension reform began with a paragraph, became a 200 page report, later passed through parliament and this year became law. For firefighters, however, this hasn't turned out to be the end of the story.
Instead, last month the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which represents 85% of uniformed staff of the UK fire and rescue service, voted to strike over the government's position on firefighters' pensions.
The FBU opposes the pension reforms that have been put forward, saying it involves "unaffordable and unfair contribution rates", "a totally unrealistic retirement age for firefighters" and "an unsustainable scheme for the fire service".
Meanwhile, the government argues it's a generous offer. Minister Brandon Lewis was quoted as saying:
"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."
£26,000 - generous?
Many people would consider this sum - roughly equivalent to the median annual earnings for an employee - as generous for a pension, and more so when considering a 'competent' (fully trained) firefighter can expect an annual salary of just under £28,500.
But a closer reading suggests this is an unrealistic sum for most firefighters. First of all, £7,000 in state pension has been added, but the State Pension is only payable at state pension age (65 and rising), whereas the government's current proposals suggest an occupational retirement age of 60. So in reality, the government's example firefighter would only be getting £19,000 a year when they actually retire.
So a better question is whether £19,000 is a 'normal' pension for a firefighter.
£19,000 - normal?
That's where things get tricky - currently most firefighters will be under one of two schemes - the Firefighters Pension Scheme (1992) and the New Firefighters Pension Scheme (2006). Two-thirds of scheme members find themselves in the former.
A firefighter under the 1992 scheme gets a pension worth a fraction of their final salary, dependent on their length of service. The most they can get is 2/3 of their salary. Someone earning £28,500 retiring with 20 years of service would receive a pension of £9,500 a year, but a colleague on the same salary who had spent 30 years as a firefighter would get an annual income of £19,000. The only way a firefighter could receive a pension larger than £19,000 per year is through additional contributions from their own income.
The 2006 scheme changed this so that the pensions pot accrued more slowly - after 30 years the pot would only be worth £14,250 (with no additional contributions) but goes up to £19,000 after 40 years (and can still grow after 40 years).
So at the moment, a firefighter gets the kind of pension the government is talking about if they serve 30-40 years and have a final salary of around £28,500 (though some will finish on higher salaries if they're promoted to managers, and so get higher pensions anyway).
Under the new proposals, firefighters contribute more, get a pension based on their career average earnings rather than final salary, and accrue their pot at a slightly faster rate for each year of service. For long-serving staff, the outcomes are similar: a firefighter serving for 40 years earning about £28,500 on average over the course of their career gets about £19,000 per year for a pension.
40 years service - realistic?
Serving 40 years without any reduction for early retirement normally means joining the fire service not much later than age 20 and working up to the proposed retirement age of 60 (the same as the 2006 scheme but five years higher than the 1992 scheme).
Figures on what a 'normal' service length is aren't readily available, although the government suggested in 2011 that only 1% currently work past age 55. The FBU and others have argued that since uniformed ocupations such as the fire service require a certain level of physical fitness, the normal pension age shouldn't be this high in the first place - so for most firefighters 40 years would put them beyond adequate fitness for the service.
The evidence they cite is a 2012 review of how firefighters' abilities change with age. The study analysed existing literature and found that, based on data from four fire services, at 50-54 years of age half of firefighters were below a 'minimum standard' of fitness, while two thirds fell below it at 55-60 years (this isn't a universally agreed measure, so the research used existing practices as a benchmark).
The evidence isn't conclusive about exactly how many firefighters can be expected to fall away from fitness standards in their 50s but does suggest this will be an issue for many trying to clock up the 40 years' service required to reach the Minister's example.
So whether or not we could expect most firefighters to receive the £19,000 upon retirement is perhaps a more contentious issue than the Minister suggests.
£19,000 year? Lucky devils. That is £1,583 a month. My husband is an accountant, whose net pay per month is around £1,066.
The pension you refer to only applies to the new proposed scheme if you join at 20 and work till 60 otherwise it's not achievable. Governments own evidence states 2/3 of firefighters will not be able to maintain required fitness at 60 so will be sacked and pension cut and deferred. If your accountant partner wants a decent pension then either pay £400 per month into one like firefighters do or join the fire service. Just because he doesn't have a decent pension or salary it doesn't mean firefighters should come down to his level. I expect his salary is dependent on his job description and doesn't involve going into burning buildings.
[quote][p][bold]ANNE GILES[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hatersgonnahate[/bold] wrote: As firefighters vote to strike over new pension plans, both the government and the unions have locked horns over the generosity of the schemes. Public sector pension reform began with a paragraph, became a 200 page report, later passed through parliament and this year became law. For firefighters, however, this hasn't turned out to be the end of the story. Instead, last month the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which represents 85% of uniformed staff of the UK fire and rescue service, voted to strike over the government's position on firefighters' pensions. The FBU opposes the pension reforms that have been put forward, saying it involves "unaffordable and unfair contribution rates", "a totally unrealistic retirement age for firefighters" and "an unsustainable scheme for the fire service". Meanwhile, the government argues it's a generous offer. Minister Brandon Lewis was quoted as saying: "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." £26,000 - generous? Many people would consider this sum - roughly equivalent to the median annual earnings for an employee - as generous for a pension, and more so when considering a 'competent' (fully trained) firefighter can expect an annual salary of just under £28,500. But a closer reading suggests this is an unrealistic sum for most firefighters. First of all, £7,000 in state pension has been added, but the State Pension is only payable at state pension age (65 and rising), whereas the government's current proposals suggest an occupational retirement age of 60. So in reality, the government's example firefighter would only be getting £19,000 a year when they actually retire. So a better question is whether £19,000 is a 'normal' pension for a firefighter. £19,000 - normal? That's where things get tricky - currently most firefighters will be under one of two schemes - the Firefighters Pension Scheme (1992) and the New Firefighters Pension Scheme (2006). Two-thirds of scheme members find themselves in the former. A firefighter under the 1992 scheme gets a pension worth a fraction of their final salary, dependent on their length of service. The most they can get is 2/3 of their salary. Someone earning £28,500 retiring with 20 years of service would receive a pension of £9,500 a year, but a colleague on the same salary who had spent 30 years as a firefighter would get an annual income of £19,000. The only way a firefighter could receive a pension larger than £19,000 per year is through additional contributions from their own income. The 2006 scheme changed this so that the pensions pot accrued more slowly - after 30 years the pot would only be worth £14,250 (with no additional contributions) but goes up to £19,000 after 40 years (and can still grow after 40 years). So at the moment, a firefighter gets the kind of pension the government is talking about if they serve 30-40 years and have a final salary of around £28,500 (though some will finish on higher salaries if they're promoted to managers, and so get higher pensions anyway). Under the new proposals, firefighters contribute more, get a pension based on their career average earnings rather than final salary, and accrue their pot at a slightly faster rate for each year of service. For long-serving staff, the outcomes are similar: a firefighter serving for 40 years earning about £28,500 on average over the course of their career gets about £19,000 per year for a pension. 40 years service - realistic? Serving 40 years without any reduction for early retirement normally means joining the fire service not much later than age 20 and working up to the proposed retirement age of 60 (the same as the 2006 scheme but five years higher than the 1992 scheme). Figures on what a 'normal' service length is aren't readily available, although the government suggested in 2011 that only 1% currently work past age 55. The FBU and others have argued that since uniformed ocupations such as the fire service require a certain level of physical fitness, the normal pension age shouldn't be this high in the first place - so for most firefighters 40 years would put them beyond adequate fitness for the service. The evidence they cite is a 2012 review of how firefighters' abilities change with age. The study analysed existing literature and found that, based on data from four fire services, at 50-54 years of age half of firefighters were below a 'minimum standard' of fitness, while two thirds fell below it at 55-60 years (this isn't a universally agreed measure, so the research used existing practices as a benchmark). The evidence isn't conclusive about exactly how many firefighters can be expected to fall away from fitness standards in their 50s but does suggest this will be an issue for many trying to clock up the 40 years' service required to reach the Minister's example. So whether or not we could expect most firefighters to receive the £19,000 upon retirement is perhaps a more contentious issue than the Minister suggests.[/p][/quote]£19,000 year? Lucky devils. That is £1,583 a month. My husband is an accountant, whose net pay per month is around £1,066.[/p][/quote]The pension you refer to only applies to the new proposed scheme if you join at 20 and work till 60 otherwise it's not achievable. Governments own evidence states 2/3 of firefighters will not be able to maintain required fitness at 60 so will be sacked and pension cut and deferred. If your accountant partner wants a decent pension then either pay £400 per month into one like firefighters do or join the fire service. Just because he doesn't have a decent pension or salary it doesn't mean firefighters should come down to his level. I expect his salary is dependent on his job description and doesn't involve going into burning buildings. Hatersgonnahate
  • Score: 2

8:25pm Sun 27 Apr 14

wobwoba says...

Full support for the strike! laughed at the woman comparing accountacy and risking your life for others. what were you thinking!
Full support for the strike! laughed at the woman comparing accountacy and risking your life for others. what were you thinking! wobwoba
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

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