Scottish and Northern Irish firefighters are not on strike because the exact same issues appear to have been resolved by negociations at top level. England and Wales firefighters have a good case, IMHO.
Strikes never prove anything, except to lose people further pay and perhaps conditions.
The Fire Service, Police and perhaps some other organisations have over many years achieved quite a lot, while other industries have lost a lot, especially if their jobs have been transferred overseas.
We have people on this forum who have taken early retirement, and are now saying that the job they had, as provided a good pension for them to do so.
I spent most of my working life in private industry, and the remainder working for the police force, where I left under medical grounds. The pension I receive from the police force is far greater and better, than I receive from the 'normal' government pension, which in my opinion , gives me a far better lifestyle. Had I continued working in private industry, my pension rights would have been far lower, and my present lifestyle would not have been more relaxed.
The row centres on ministers' plans to raise firefighters' retirement age from 55 to 60 and increase their pension contributions.
That is the very bad bit.
No one in their right sense of mind would have a sixty year old firefighter. I don't care how 'fit' they look your senses deteriorate later in life. It's a high manual labour job for the youngsters. The Union is totally right in this instance in my opinion, and not a 'humble' one.
Fe, act like a bunch of spoilt children? , try the job before criticising it. Day after day after day......
Perhaps I should have added, that the Forum Editor seems to consider that those involved are acting "like a bunch of spoilt children?".
Surely anyone involved is entitled to their or their comrades views and opinions, and the events are perhaps very deep rooted.
Do we regard the banker's as being "like spoilt children" or our politicians being 'like spoilt children', when they were insisting that we the public came to their defense, because they wanted and demanded more. And this is one of the biggest problems in life, when one side appears to be wrong, yet the other side is right, because of their suppose position in life?.
I spent thirty years in the London Fire brigade, I retired age 50 with a full pension. What most of the media fail to mention is that over that thirty year period firemen contribute 11% of their salary towards their pension. They always retired 15 years earlier than the rest of the population because it was acknowledged that fire fighting is an extremely physical job, and by the time most men reached 50 they were physically unable to do the job to the standard required.
As someone said it is a young mans occupation!
With regard to the changes being unilaterally imposed by the government, the facts are these! When I joined the job at age 20 my employer and I entered into a contract of employment, that contract stated that I would be employed as a fireman and would be expected to work an antisocial shift system of two nine hour days and two fifteen hour nights followed by three days off.
I would be expected to work over Christmas and new year, I would only be able to take leave at my employers convenience and I would also be expected if the need arose to be prepared to risk my life to save others.
All of these conditions I signed up to and accepted willingly, and in return my employer offered me a generous pension guaranteed by statutory instrument. Both of us, employer and employee signed and agreed to that contract of employment.
I kept my part of the bargain, I worked for the required thirty years and in November 2008 I retired on the pension I had been expecting and which my employer agreed to.
I was lucky! I got out in time, but can you tell me why somebody not as fortunate to have completed their service when I did but who still has that same contract of employment should be expected to work longer, pay more and get less?
What other industry or business would be allowed on a whim to tear up a legally binding contract midway through it's term and tell the person who had that contract that the benefits that they had contracted with their employer to receive were arbitrarily rendered null and void at the stroke of a government ministers pen?
This is why the firemen are so aggrieved, and this is why they are taking industrial action, in an attempt to force a lying duplicitous government to honour the legally binding agreements that they freely entered into.