Great Yarmouth firefighters walk out in pensions row

Firefighters in Great Yarmouth joined a national 24 hour walkout in a dispute over pay.

Firefighters in Great Yarmouth joined a national 24 hour walkout in a dispute over pay. - Credit: Archant

Firefighters in Great Yarmouth are taking part in a one day national strike in a dispute with the Government over pensions.

A handful remained on the picket line today while around 20 more travelled to London to join a lunchtime rally in Westminster that will be addressed by MPs and union officials.

The walkout began at 7am and will last for 24 hours, with reduced cover across the county.

Firefighter Ryan Martin from Rackheath said the aim was to maintain a visible presence to the public who could stop and ask any questions and gain a better understanding of the issues involved.

Aside from the pensions dispute the Fire Brigades Union is at loggerheads over statements made by fire minister Penny Mordaunt who told MPs that if a firefighter loses fitness through no fault of their own they should get another role or a full, unreduced pension.

Mr Martin said fire authorities across the country had failed to back up the minister’s “guarantee” and that assurances were being sought in Norfolk.

He said: “None of us like going on strike and I am personally not in the pension scheme but due to the morals of the situation there is not really an option. Money is effectively being stolen and at what point do you accept that?

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“A lot of guys come from the forces and were advised to transfer their money into the scheme and as it stands at the moment they will be getting nothing for it.”