Northamptonshire firefighters strike against requirements to have the fitness of a 20-year-old at 60

FBU members strike at Upper Mounts fire station in Northampton
FBU members strike at Upper Mounts fire station in Northampton

Firefighters in Northamptonshire began a 24-hour strike this morning in response to an ongoing national dispute about new pension reforms, which will see 60-year-old firefighters required to meet fitness standards of colleagues 40 years younger.

Around 170 county firefighters who are members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) took industrial action from 7am this morning, until 7am tomorrow (Thursday).

Benjamin Muddle, FBU representative for Northamptonshire who picketed with colleagues at the Upper Mounts fire station in Northampton town centre, said that Government promises to improve the situation were “lies”.

He said: “Essentially, if your fitness levels don’t meet the standards of a 20-year-old when you are 60, or you leave the job from the age of 55 because of this, you get your pension cut.

“Assurances were made in Parliament that this would not happen, but this was based on lies and there is no guarantee.”

While the strikes coninue, Northamptonshire Fire Service will be carrying out reviewed contingency measures after the average response times increased during strike action last year.

Chief fire officer for Northamptonshire, Martyn Emberson, said: “Our robust contingency measures are some of the best in the country and they are getting better.”