Swindon AdvertiserPublic backed our strike, say fire crew (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Public backed our strike, say fire crew

Swindon Advertiser: Public backed our strike, say fire crew Public backed our strike, say fire crew

FIREFIGHTERS will be bringing 24 hours of strikes to an end this morning as they hope to resolve their pension dispute with the Government.

Staff from Swindon, Stratton and Westlea stations joined colleagues around the country taking to the picket lines at 9am yesterday.

The Fire Brigades’ Union has held several strikes in recent months protesting against plans for firefighters to pay higher pension contributions, work into their late 50s before retiring and face being sacked if their fitness levels are not up to scratch.

Paul Lawler has been protesting with his colleagues from Westlea Fire Station. He said: “Nobody wants to strike, we all want to be working, but this is an issue which needs addressing.

“I really hope the Government get round the table and talk to the union about this important issue which has a major influence on public safety.

“We just want a solution which will suit both sides as this has been going on for three years now and we just want it resolved.”

The Westlea firefighters have put banners and flags outside their station and Paul said they have been overwhelmed by the public support they received.

He said: “We’ve had cars tooting and waving to us as they’ve gone past and we’ve never had people drop off food for us.

“Obviously, we don’t want to be doing this but the support has been very touching and I think people in the public and private, sector who have suffered cutscan relate to us and understand our concerns.”

Brent Thornley, the FBU’s south west secretary, said that the strike has been productive and shows how passionately concerned firefighters are by the Government’s proposed reforms.

He said: “It has gone as well as industrial action can.

“We really want to sit down with the Government and see what options are available, as it is like a jigsaw we can only put it together when we have all the pieces.

“To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk so it is a nice morale boost to know the vast majority of the public are backing us.”

During the strike, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has provided a reduced service across the region.

chief fire officer Simon Routh-Jones said: “We are very fortunate that we have so many on-call firefighters who are not members of the FBU, and who are willing to make themselves available for additional hours during strike periods.

“As I have said before, the union’s dispute is with the Government, yet the impact of these strikes is entirely on individual services and the communities we are here to protect.”

The union’s members also intend to strike for seven hours, to highlight the dispute, from 10am on Saturday, June 21.

Comments (18)

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7:38am Fri 13 Jun 14

stfcdod says...

So a few people tooting their horns signifies overwhelming support for the strike does it? How about the 98% who didn't toot their horns?
So a few people tooting their horns signifies overwhelming support for the strike does it? How about the 98% who didn't toot their horns? stfcdod
  • Score: 6

7:42am Fri 13 Jun 14

Wildwestener says...

Well they have my support in this particular dispute. The Government are being particularly daft on this one. It's not just about the money in this instance. Good Luck to the Firefighters
Well they have my support in this particular dispute. The Government are being particularly daft on this one. It's not just about the money in this instance. Good Luck to the Firefighters Wildwestener
  • Score: -2

9:08am Fri 13 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

They have my support too.
They have my support too. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -9

9:41am Fri 13 Jun 14

scottwichall says...

stfcdod wrote:
So a few people tooting their horns signifies overwhelming support for the strike does it? How about the 98% who didn't toot their horns?
I am one of the 98%. And I don't support them in this instance.
[quote][p][bold]stfcdod[/bold] wrote: So a few people tooting their horns signifies overwhelming support for the strike does it? How about the 98% who didn't toot their horns?[/p][/quote]I am one of the 98%. And I don't support them in this instance. scottwichall
  • Score: 11

10:11am Fri 13 Jun 14

ChannelX says...

I sincerely doubt that most of the public, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet and have no pension to look forward to, support the idea of paying yet more tax in order that firefighters can retire at 55 and look forward to 30 to 40 years of an annual pension that's higher than many working people's actual salaries.
I sincerely doubt that most of the public, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet and have no pension to look forward to, support the idea of paying yet more tax in order that firefighters can retire at 55 and look forward to 30 to 40 years of an annual pension that's higher than many working people's actual salaries. ChannelX
  • Score: 7

10:59am Fri 13 Jun 14

trolley dolley says...

The FBU admit,
" To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk".

This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety.

I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved.

It is just spin by the FBU.

The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century.
The FBU admit, " To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk". This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety. I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved. It is just spin by the FBU. The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century. trolley dolley
  • Score: 13

11:22am Fri 13 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

trolley dolley wrote:
The FBU admit,
" To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk".

This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety.

I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved.

It is just spin by the FBU.

The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century.
I didn't drive past nor toot my horn but i'm with them all the way.

Would the 21st century plans be minimum wage, zero contract hours by any chance?
It aint broken, it just needs tweaking a bit.
[quote][p][bold]trolley dolley[/bold] wrote: The FBU admit, " To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk". This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety. I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved. It is just spin by the FBU. The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century.[/p][/quote]I didn't drive past nor toot my horn but i'm with them all the way. Would the 21st century plans be minimum wage, zero contract hours by any chance? It aint broken, it just needs tweaking a bit. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -6

12:03pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Hmmmf says...

I trust the police were on hand to prosecute all those who 'tooted' for illegal use of the horn?
Just fyi: Professional firefighters' retirement age by EU country (Source: European Trade Union Institute):
Belgium: 60
Denmark: 60
Estonia: 65
Finland: 65-68
France: No later than 67
Germany: 60-62
Italy: average 58 or 53 with 38 years of service
Netherlands: 59
Norway: 60
Spain: 60

Age is a complete red herring. Under the Fire Brigades Pensions Act of 1925, the compulsory retirement age for firefighters of all ranks was 60. This was subsequently reduced in the 1990s to 55 for firefighters up to the rank of Station Officer, but firefighters who have joined the service since 2006 are *already* obliged to retire at 60 under the New Firefighters Pension Scheme... introduced by the last Labour Government.

And of course they should be fit to do their job when lives depend on it.
I trust the police were on hand to prosecute all those who 'tooted' for illegal use of the horn? Just fyi: Professional firefighters' retirement age by EU country (Source: European Trade Union Institute): Belgium: 60 Denmark: 60 Estonia: 65 Finland: 65-68 France: No later than 67 Germany: 60-62 Italy: average 58 or 53 with 38 years of service Netherlands: 59 Norway: 60 Spain: 60 Age is a complete red herring. Under the Fire Brigades Pensions Act of 1925, the compulsory retirement age for firefighters of all ranks was 60. This was subsequently reduced in the 1990s to 55 for firefighters up to the rank of Station Officer, but firefighters who have joined the service since 2006 are *already* obliged to retire at 60 under the New Firefighters Pension Scheme... introduced by the last Labour Government. And of course they should be fit to do their job when lives depend on it. Hmmmf
  • Score: 11

12:16pm Fri 13 Jun 14

swindondad says...

THE FBU have got this one wrong,

The majority of the public can see that you can not keep pension packages of decades past that no longer reflect the life spans in this country unless of course all the FBU members would like to volunteer for euthanasia by the age of 69.
THE FBU have got this one wrong, The majority of the public can see that you can not keep pension packages of decades past that no longer reflect the life spans in this country unless of course all the FBU members would like to volunteer for euthanasia by the age of 69. swindondad
  • Score: 5

12:46pm Fri 13 Jun 14

stfcdod says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
trolley dolley wrote:
The FBU admit,
" To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk".

This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety.

I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved.

It is just spin by the FBU.

The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century.
I didn't drive past nor toot my horn but i'm with them all the way.

Would the 21st century plans be minimum wage, zero contract hours by any chance?
It aint broken, it just needs tweaking a bit.
.....which is just what the government is trying to do.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]trolley dolley[/bold] wrote: The FBU admit, " To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk". This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety. I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved. It is just spin by the FBU. The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century.[/p][/quote]I didn't drive past nor toot my horn but i'm with them all the way. Would the 21st century plans be minimum wage, zero contract hours by any chance? It aint broken, it just needs tweaking a bit.[/p][/quote].....which is just what the government is trying to do. stfcdod
  • Score: 4

2:34pm Fri 13 Jun 14

The Real Librarian says...

trolley dolley wrote:
The FBU admit, " To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk". This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety. I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved. It is just spin by the FBU. The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century.
Question

You are trapped in a burning building.
When the Fire Brigade arive, do you want a bunch of guys in their 20's and thirties trying to save your life or a bunch of guys in their fifties and sixties?
[quote][p][bold]trolley dolley[/bold] wrote: The FBU admit, " To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk". This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety. I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved. It is just spin by the FBU. The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century.[/p][/quote]Question You are trapped in a burning building. When the Fire Brigade arive, do you want a bunch of guys in their 20's and thirties trying to save your life or a bunch of guys in their fifties and sixties? The Real Librarian
  • Score: -5

2:37pm Fri 13 Jun 14

ChannelX says...

The public sector unions will oppose anything and everything the current government attempt to do.

If their puppet Labour party were in power you wouldn't be seeing any of these strikes, even if the same pension policies were put in place by them.
The public sector unions will oppose anything and everything the current government attempt to do. If their puppet Labour party were in power you wouldn't be seeing any of these strikes, even if the same pension policies were put in place by them. ChannelX
  • Score: 5

2:40pm Fri 13 Jun 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

How is this union action not falling foul of discrimination laws. Surely stating that firefighters are incapable of doing the job as soon as they hit 55 is ageist?
How is this union action not falling foul of discrimination laws. Surely stating that firefighters are incapable of doing the job as soon as they hit 55 is ageist? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 6

2:40pm Fri 13 Jun 14

ChannelX says...

The Real Librarian wrote:
trolley dolley wrote:
The FBU admit, " To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk". This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety. I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved. It is just spin by the FBU. The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century.
Question

You are trapped in a burning building.
When the Fire Brigade arive, do you want a bunch of guys in their 20's and thirties trying to save your life or a bunch of guys in their fifties and sixties?
I'd expect a number of firefighters to arrive, given how much we pay for the service. I'd also expect to see a couple of older, senior guys with experience and a calm head (hopefully in their 50s or 60s) and a few younger guys who I'd expect to be fit enough to do the heavy lifting and more physical work.

One thing I have never seen, as the fire engines cruise past the girls in bars in Old Town on Friday and Saturday nights, is a single vehicle with solely old guys in it. The vast majority of them look under 40, much like all the ones pictured on the picket lines.
[quote][p][bold]The Real Librarian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]trolley dolley[/bold] wrote: The FBU admit, " To some extent, the strikes are putting public safety at risk". This is a totally unacceptable statement, it just shows how little these militants care for public safety. I drove my car slowly past the Westlea fire station in a long traffic queue, I watched the other cars in both directions and nobody hooted or waved. It is just spin by the FBU. The government should start long term plans to replace the present broken system and move it into the 21st century.[/p][/quote]Question You are trapped in a burning building. When the Fire Brigade arive, do you want a bunch of guys in their 20's and thirties trying to save your life or a bunch of guys in their fifties and sixties?[/p][/quote]I'd expect a number of firefighters to arrive, given how much we pay for the service. I'd also expect to see a couple of older, senior guys with experience and a calm head (hopefully in their 50s or 60s) and a few younger guys who I'd expect to be fit enough to do the heavy lifting and more physical work. One thing I have never seen, as the fire engines cruise past the girls in bars in Old Town on Friday and Saturday nights, is a single vehicle with solely old guys in it. The vast majority of them look under 40, much like all the ones pictured on the picket lines. ChannelX
  • Score: 5

2:42pm Fri 13 Jun 14

ChannelX says...

Also, I don't really understand the signs they're holding above... 'Save Your Fire Service'?

I don't recall anyone saying it's going to be scrapped, just that they can't expect to have a large pension for 30 or 40 years of retirement (a period longer than many of them will have actually worked in the fire service!)
Also, I don't really understand the signs they're holding above... 'Save Your Fire Service'? I don't recall anyone saying it's going to be scrapped, just that they can't expect to have a large pension for 30 or 40 years of retirement (a period longer than many of them will have actually worked in the fire service!) ChannelX
  • Score: 4

2:48pm Fri 13 Jun 14

ChannelX says...

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
How is this union action not falling foul of discrimination laws. Surely stating that firefighters are incapable of doing the job as soon as they hit 55 is ageist?
Good point.

Their opposition to the new policies also seems to imply that, currently, firefighters who do not have the required levels of fitness are still allowed to continue in employment.

How can that be right? In any other job, if you're demonstrably not up to it and don't meet the requirements of the role, you're let go.

The unions claim that anyone over 55 simply cannot do the job, while at the same time claiming that anyone under 55 who isn't fit enough to do the job should be allowed to continue to be paid for a job they can't do properly.

It's all a bit hypocritcal. But, then, they are union types.
[quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: How is this union action not falling foul of discrimination laws. Surely stating that firefighters are incapable of doing the job as soon as they hit 55 is ageist?[/p][/quote]Good point. Their opposition to the new policies also seems to imply that, currently, firefighters who do not have the required levels of fitness are still allowed to continue in employment. How can that be right? In any other job, if you're demonstrably not up to it and don't meet the requirements of the role, you're let go. The unions claim that anyone over 55 simply cannot do the job, while at the same time claiming that anyone under 55 who isn't fit enough to do the job should be allowed to continue to be paid for a job they can't do properly. It's all a bit hypocritcal. But, then, they are union types. ChannelX
  • Score: 9

6:32pm Fri 13 Jun 14

GANGWARILY says...

Greedy Militants with no job commitment? Really? May I ask how much contributions each month do the bloggers on this site pay towards their own "private" pension "as a percentage" of their monthly salary? Don't include National Insurance contributions, they are separate so don't count. I'd be interested to hear. The FB lads pay on average 15%. As other pension schemes, they have had considerable increases over the past few years, and has not been an issue. They pay their fair share.

Earlier comments " Fire-fighters... Are only in it for the money". Yes I totally agree, because it's a job and they would expect to get paid for doing that job. All those bloggers out there, are you employed? If so, why? For the love of the job or the money to pay your bills?

OK someone mentioned "Scrap the Fire service and let it be run by a private company: this could be covered by a private insurance scheme, with a fee to be paid when calling in, just like we do for boiler / plumbing cover. OK, well what about the "Let the Fire Service be run by private companies?" Look at London FB, they opted to use a private company to supply vehicles, equipment and training services ... who subsequently went bust. Then what do you do?

The Private Insurance scheme then.. just like plumbers. OK, how easy is it to get a decent price for emergency plumbing work on Christmas/New Years Day or at 3am. Private Fire Services are just that, private and therefore out to make a profit. Charges would be potentially incredible. Remember, at the moment, you pay about £63 a year already for a 365 day a year unlimited service within your council tax.

Lets not go back to the Victorian days when Fire Plates issued by insurance companies adorned the walls of business. When the Fire Brigade turned up, if no plate could be seen, they returned back to the station leaving the building to burn. Austerity... Money is tight for everyone, would we now be expected to pay more for this service? Car insurance premiums increased so that policy holders can be rescued in a timely fashion when required by 21 year old fresh faced and muscle bound heros!!!! You already pay for this service in your council tax! (Less the 21 yr olds but remember they are all more than capable).

Another blogger mentioned that on retiring at 55, fire fighters are then claiming their "fat" pension for a further 30+ years... longer than they had actually been employed. Sorry. You will find, sadly, this is wrong. On average, FFs croak rather sooner than that following retirement. Probably due to that entire fine post-employment style of living (wine, women and snooker) you will no doubt tell me. Fact is, they do go earlier.
What about the age issue then? Firefighters at the moment carry out full operational duties until they are 55. Full operational duties mean wearing Breathing Apparatus whilst completing strenuous tasks in extreme environments. It’s not just about “pulling someone out of a fire”. The tasks also involve a whole host of other activities which test the body to the max. What about the Army then? At what age would you say a soldier no longer has the capacity to run around, shoot at his/her target before they get puffed out? Actually, the majority of front line troops are aged between 18 and 40. Older soldiers carry out more managerial roles. All retire on a full pension (collectable immediately) after 22 years’ service. Some do go on longer with a commission. But remember, the Army Pension is non-contribution. They don’t pay a monthly percentage. PLEASE BEAR IN MIND I AM NOT KNOCKING OUR TROOPS!!! I USED TO BE ONE. Some of the web trolls keep saying that there are many jobs out there which are quite strenuous and firefighters should remember this. They don’t actually state what sort of jobs these are.

I am not a fire fighter, but I do know one. I don't consider him to be a liar and especially not a greedy militant, with no job commitment. Quite the opposite actually. Just like teachers, nurses and other public service workers, they are worried that they are being unfairly targeted by the Government's Austerity plan. Unfortunately their only route is for strike action. Take Note - Government Minister for Local Councils (who the Fire Service have to deal with regarding this Pensions Dispute) ) Brandon Lewis do not listen. Minister Brandon was caught out this week on BBC News regarding recycling issues. These continually job/role swapping politicians have no regard or care for the common person.

I can't wait for the abuse to come rolling in from all those Swindon Adver bloggers.. Should they strike? Probably no however they have said that they will attend major incidents whilst on strike. It's the only course of action available when the other side of the negotiating table won't listen and fails to even correspond.

Are they right to defend their pension contracts or do they just sit back, take it and be taken advantage of? If you are unhappy about a decision, then you should be at least able to challenge. This is what the Fire Fighters are doing.

Following this latest period of industrial action, a SA blogger said something like... “Poor darlings are not over work then.” I guess what you meant to say was “over worked”. However, thankfully yes, there were a low number of incidents attended by covering WFRS crews. However on a day to day basis, whilst there may be very quiet periods without incident, the time spent by fire crews is not that of playing snooker or drinking tea. All time is spent either maintaining equipment, making sure it will work when required or carrying out training exercises, ensuring that they all know exactly what to do in the event of any emergency. AND when you cal,l them, they are therefore ready to deal with anything thrown at them.
I would ask any of those bloggers if they would accept an invitation to join the Fire Service for one day. See what they do, try it for themselves. The firefighters respect your opinion however you are only informed by the Government’s Spin doctors and authorized media. Their side is extremely well put. See for yourselves.

It should also be remembered that this dispute is between the Government and the Fire Fighters and their Union nationally. Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service have been doing sterling work ensuring that fire cover is provided throughout periods of industrial action and indeed, they have responded when needed. Trolley Dolly, please don’t knock your local Fire Service. Perhaps you would care to join us for a day?

And finally, remember my first question? How much are you paying in to your own private pension scheme each month?
Greedy Militants with no job commitment? Really? May I ask how much contributions each month do the bloggers on this site pay towards their own "private" pension "as a percentage" of their monthly salary? Don't include National Insurance contributions, they are separate so don't count. I'd be interested to hear. The FB lads pay on average 15%. As other pension schemes, they have had considerable increases over the past few years, and has not been an issue. They pay their fair share. Earlier comments " Fire-fighters... Are only in it for the money". Yes I totally agree, because it's a job and they would expect to get paid for doing that job. All those bloggers out there, are you employed? If so, why? For the love of the job or the money to pay your bills? OK someone mentioned "Scrap the Fire service and let it be run by a private company: this could be covered by a private insurance scheme, with a fee to be paid when calling in, just like we do for boiler / plumbing cover. OK, well what about the "Let the Fire Service be run by private companies?" Look at London FB, they opted to use a private company to supply vehicles, equipment and training services ... who subsequently went bust. Then what do you do? The Private Insurance scheme then.. just like plumbers. OK, how easy is it to get a decent price for emergency plumbing work on Christmas/New Years Day or at 3am. Private Fire Services are just that, private and therefore out to make a profit. Charges would be potentially incredible. Remember, at the moment, you pay about £63 a year already for a 365 day a year unlimited service within your council tax. Lets not go back to the Victorian days when Fire Plates issued by insurance companies adorned the walls of business. When the Fire Brigade turned up, if no plate could be seen, they returned back to the station leaving the building to burn. Austerity... Money is tight for everyone, would we now be expected to pay more for this service? Car insurance premiums increased so that policy holders can be rescued in a timely fashion when required by 21 year old fresh faced and muscle bound heros!!!! You already pay for this service in your council tax! (Less the 21 yr olds but remember they are all more than capable). Another blogger mentioned that on retiring at 55, fire fighters are then claiming their "fat" pension for a further 30+ years... longer than they had actually been employed. Sorry. You will find, sadly, this is wrong. On average, FFs croak rather sooner than that following retirement. Probably due to that entire fine post-employment style of living (wine, women and snooker) you will no doubt tell me. Fact is, they do go earlier. What about the age issue then? Firefighters at the moment carry out full operational duties until they are 55. Full operational duties mean wearing Breathing Apparatus whilst completing strenuous tasks in extreme environments. It’s not just about “pulling someone out of a fire”. The tasks also involve a whole host of other activities which test the body to the max. What about the Army then? At what age would you say a soldier no longer has the capacity to run around, shoot at his/her target before they get puffed out? Actually, the majority of front line troops are aged between 18 and 40. Older soldiers carry out more managerial roles. All retire on a full pension (collectable immediately) after 22 years’ service. Some do go on longer with a commission. But remember, the Army Pension is non-contribution. They don’t pay a monthly percentage. PLEASE BEAR IN MIND I AM NOT KNOCKING OUR TROOPS!!! I USED TO BE ONE. Some of the web trolls keep saying that there are many jobs out there which are quite strenuous and firefighters should remember this. They don’t actually state what sort of jobs these are. I am not a fire fighter, but I do know one. I don't consider him to be a liar and especially not a greedy militant, with no job commitment. Quite the opposite actually. Just like teachers, nurses and other public service workers, they are worried that they are being unfairly targeted by the Government's Austerity plan. Unfortunately their only route is for strike action. Take Note - Government Minister for Local Councils (who the Fire Service have to deal with regarding this Pensions Dispute) ) Brandon Lewis do not listen. Minister Brandon was caught out this week on BBC News regarding recycling issues. These continually job/role swapping politicians have no regard or care for the common person. I can't wait for the abuse to come rolling in from all those Swindon Adver bloggers.. Should they strike? Probably no however they have said that they will attend major incidents whilst on strike. It's the only course of action available when the other side of the negotiating table won't listen and fails to even correspond. Are they right to defend their pension contracts or do they just sit back, take it and be taken advantage of? If you are unhappy about a decision, then you should be at least able to challenge. This is what the Fire Fighters are doing. Following this latest period of industrial action, a SA blogger said something like... “Poor darlings are not over work then.” I guess what you meant to say was “over worked”. However, thankfully yes, there were a low number of incidents attended by covering WFRS crews. However on a day to day basis, whilst there may be very quiet periods without incident, the time spent by fire crews is not that of playing snooker or drinking tea. All time is spent either maintaining equipment, making sure it will work when required or carrying out training exercises, ensuring that they all know exactly what to do in the event of any emergency. AND when you cal,l them, they are therefore ready to deal with anything thrown at them. I would ask any of those bloggers if they would accept an invitation to join the Fire Service for one day. See what they do, try it for themselves. The firefighters respect your opinion however you are only informed by the Government’s Spin doctors and authorized media. Their side is extremely well put. See for yourselves. It should also be remembered that this dispute is between the Government and the Fire Fighters and their Union nationally. Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service have been doing sterling work ensuring that fire cover is provided throughout periods of industrial action and indeed, they have responded when needed. Trolley Dolly, please don’t knock your local Fire Service. Perhaps you would care to join us for a day? And finally, remember my first question? How much are you paying in to your own private pension scheme each month? GANGWARILY
  • Score: -7

12:02pm Sat 14 Jun 14

stfcdod says...

GANGWARILY wrote:
Greedy Militants with no job commitment? Really? May I ask how much contributions each month do the bloggers on this site pay towards their own "private" pension "as a percentage" of their monthly salary? Don't include National Insurance contributions, they are separate so don't count. I'd be interested to hear. The FB lads pay on average 15%. As other pension schemes, they have had considerable increases over the past few years, and has not been an issue. They pay their fair share.

Earlier comments " Fire-fighters... Are only in it for the money". Yes I totally agree, because it's a job and they would expect to get paid for doing that job. All those bloggers out there, are you employed? If so, why? For the love of the job or the money to pay your bills?

OK someone mentioned "Scrap the Fire service and let it be run by a private company: this could be covered by a private insurance scheme, with a fee to be paid when calling in, just like we do for boiler / plumbing cover. OK, well what about the "Let the Fire Service be run by private companies?" Look at London FB, they opted to use a private company to supply vehicles, equipment and training services ... who subsequently went bust. Then what do you do?

The Private Insurance scheme then.. just like plumbers. OK, how easy is it to get a decent price for emergency plumbing work on Christmas/New Years Day or at 3am. Private Fire Services are just that, private and therefore out to make a profit. Charges would be potentially incredible. Remember, at the moment, you pay about £63 a year already for a 365 day a year unlimited service within your council tax.

Lets not go back to the Victorian days when Fire Plates issued by insurance companies adorned the walls of business. When the Fire Brigade turned up, if no plate could be seen, they returned back to the station leaving the building to burn. Austerity... Money is tight for everyone, would we now be expected to pay more for this service? Car insurance premiums increased so that policy holders can be rescued in a timely fashion when required by 21 year old fresh faced and muscle bound heros!!!! You already pay for this service in your council tax! (Less the 21 yr olds but remember they are all more than capable).

Another blogger mentioned that on retiring at 55, fire fighters are then claiming their "fat" pension for a further 30+ years... longer than they had actually been employed. Sorry. You will find, sadly, this is wrong. On average, FFs croak rather sooner than that following retirement. Probably due to that entire fine post-employment style of living (wine, women and snooker) you will no doubt tell me. Fact is, they do go earlier.
What about the age issue then? Firefighters at the moment carry out full operational duties until they are 55. Full operational duties mean wearing Breathing Apparatus whilst completing strenuous tasks in extreme environments. It’s not just about “pulling someone out of a fire”. The tasks also involve a whole host of other activities which test the body to the max. What about the Army then? At what age would you say a soldier no longer has the capacity to run around, shoot at his/her target before they get puffed out? Actually, the majority of front line troops are aged between 18 and 40. Older soldiers carry out more managerial roles. All retire on a full pension (collectable immediately) after 22 years’ service. Some do go on longer with a commission. But remember, the Army Pension is non-contribution. They don’t pay a monthly percentage. PLEASE BEAR IN MIND I AM NOT KNOCKING OUR TROOPS!!! I USED TO BE ONE. Some of the web trolls keep saying that there are many jobs out there which are quite strenuous and firefighters should remember this. They don’t actually state what sort of jobs these are.

I am not a fire fighter, but I do know one. I don't consider him to be a liar and especially not a greedy militant, with no job commitment. Quite the opposite actually. Just like teachers, nurses and other public service workers, they are worried that they are being unfairly targeted by the Government's Austerity plan. Unfortunately their only route is for strike action. Take Note - Government Minister for Local Councils (who the Fire Service have to deal with regarding this Pensions Dispute) ) Brandon Lewis do not listen. Minister Brandon was caught out this week on BBC News regarding recycling issues. These continually job/role swapping politicians have no regard or care for the common person.

I can't wait for the abuse to come rolling in from all those Swindon Adver bloggers.. Should they strike? Probably no however they have said that they will attend major incidents whilst on strike. It's the only course of action available when the other side of the negotiating table won't listen and fails to even correspond.

Are they right to defend their pension contracts or do they just sit back, take it and be taken advantage of? If you are unhappy about a decision, then you should be at least able to challenge. This is what the Fire Fighters are doing.

Following this latest period of industrial action, a SA blogger said something like... “Poor darlings are not over work then.” I guess what you meant to say was “over worked”. However, thankfully yes, there were a low number of incidents attended by covering WFRS crews. However on a day to day basis, whilst there may be very quiet periods without incident, the time spent by fire crews is not that of playing snooker or drinking tea. All time is spent either maintaining equipment, making sure it will work when required or carrying out training exercises, ensuring that they all know exactly what to do in the event of any emergency. AND when you cal,l them, they are therefore ready to deal with anything thrown at them.
I would ask any of those bloggers if they would accept an invitation to join the Fire Service for one day. See what they do, try it for themselves. The firefighters respect your opinion however you are only informed by the Government’s Spin doctors and authorized media. Their side is extremely well put. See for yourselves.

It should also be remembered that this dispute is between the Government and the Fire Fighters and their Union nationally. Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service have been doing sterling work ensuring that fire cover is provided throughout periods of industrial action and indeed, they have responded when needed. Trolley Dolly, please don’t knock your local Fire Service. Perhaps you would care to join us for a day?

And finally, remember my first question? How much are you paying in to your own private pension scheme each month?
Regarding your final comment. We pay a similar amount for a lot longer.
Next point please.
[quote][p][bold]GANGWARILY[/bold] wrote: Greedy Militants with no job commitment? Really? May I ask how much contributions each month do the bloggers on this site pay towards their own "private" pension "as a percentage" of their monthly salary? Don't include National Insurance contributions, they are separate so don't count. I'd be interested to hear. The FB lads pay on average 15%. As other pension schemes, they have had considerable increases over the past few years, and has not been an issue. They pay their fair share. Earlier comments " Fire-fighters... Are only in it for the money". Yes I totally agree, because it's a job and they would expect to get paid for doing that job. All those bloggers out there, are you employed? If so, why? For the love of the job or the money to pay your bills? OK someone mentioned "Scrap the Fire service and let it be run by a private company: this could be covered by a private insurance scheme, with a fee to be paid when calling in, just like we do for boiler / plumbing cover. OK, well what about the "Let the Fire Service be run by private companies?" Look at London FB, they opted to use a private company to supply vehicles, equipment and training services ... who subsequently went bust. Then what do you do? The Private Insurance scheme then.. just like plumbers. OK, how easy is it to get a decent price for emergency plumbing work on Christmas/New Years Day or at 3am. Private Fire Services are just that, private and therefore out to make a profit. Charges would be potentially incredible. Remember, at the moment, you pay about £63 a year already for a 365 day a year unlimited service within your council tax. Lets not go back to the Victorian days when Fire Plates issued by insurance companies adorned the walls of business. When the Fire Brigade turned up, if no plate could be seen, they returned back to the station leaving the building to burn. Austerity... Money is tight for everyone, would we now be expected to pay more for this service? Car insurance premiums increased so that policy holders can be rescued in a timely fashion when required by 21 year old fresh faced and muscle bound heros!!!! You already pay for this service in your council tax! (Less the 21 yr olds but remember they are all more than capable). Another blogger mentioned that on retiring at 55, fire fighters are then claiming their "fat" pension for a further 30+ years... longer than they had actually been employed. Sorry. You will find, sadly, this is wrong. On average, FFs croak rather sooner than that following retirement. Probably due to that entire fine post-employment style of living (wine, women and snooker) you will no doubt tell me. Fact is, they do go earlier. What about the age issue then? Firefighters at the moment carry out full operational duties until they are 55. Full operational duties mean wearing Breathing Apparatus whilst completing strenuous tasks in extreme environments. It’s not just about “pulling someone out of a fire”. The tasks also involve a whole host of other activities which test the body to the max. What about the Army then? At what age would you say a soldier no longer has the capacity to run around, shoot at his/her target before they get puffed out? Actually, the majority of front line troops are aged between 18 and 40. Older soldiers carry out more managerial roles. All retire on a full pension (collectable immediately) after 22 years’ service. Some do go on longer with a commission. But remember, the Army Pension is non-contribution. They don’t pay a monthly percentage. PLEASE BEAR IN MIND I AM NOT KNOCKING OUR TROOPS!!! I USED TO BE ONE. Some of the web trolls keep saying that there are many jobs out there which are quite strenuous and firefighters should remember this. They don’t actually state what sort of jobs these are. I am not a fire fighter, but I do know one. I don't consider him to be a liar and especially not a greedy militant, with no job commitment. Quite the opposite actually. Just like teachers, nurses and other public service workers, they are worried that they are being unfairly targeted by the Government's Austerity plan. Unfortunately their only route is for strike action. Take Note - Government Minister for Local Councils (who the Fire Service have to deal with regarding this Pensions Dispute) ) Brandon Lewis do not listen. Minister Brandon was caught out this week on BBC News regarding recycling issues. These continually job/role swapping politicians have no regard or care for the common person. I can't wait for the abuse to come rolling in from all those Swindon Adver bloggers.. Should they strike? Probably no however they have said that they will attend major incidents whilst on strike. It's the only course of action available when the other side of the negotiating table won't listen and fails to even correspond. Are they right to defend their pension contracts or do they just sit back, take it and be taken advantage of? If you are unhappy about a decision, then you should be at least able to challenge. This is what the Fire Fighters are doing. Following this latest period of industrial action, a SA blogger said something like... “Poor darlings are not over work then.” I guess what you meant to say was “over worked”. However, thankfully yes, there were a low number of incidents attended by covering WFRS crews. However on a day to day basis, whilst there may be very quiet periods without incident, the time spent by fire crews is not that of playing snooker or drinking tea. All time is spent either maintaining equipment, making sure it will work when required or carrying out training exercises, ensuring that they all know exactly what to do in the event of any emergency. AND when you cal,l them, they are therefore ready to deal with anything thrown at them. I would ask any of those bloggers if they would accept an invitation to join the Fire Service for one day. See what they do, try it for themselves. The firefighters respect your opinion however you are only informed by the Government’s Spin doctors and authorized media. Their side is extremely well put. See for yourselves. It should also be remembered that this dispute is between the Government and the Fire Fighters and their Union nationally. Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service have been doing sterling work ensuring that fire cover is provided throughout periods of industrial action and indeed, they have responded when needed. Trolley Dolly, please don’t knock your local Fire Service. Perhaps you would care to join us for a day? And finally, remember my first question? How much are you paying in to your own private pension scheme each month?[/p][/quote]Regarding your final comment. We pay a similar amount for a lot longer. Next point please. stfcdod
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