Firefighters march to help you understand why they are striking

Bucks Fire and Rescue HQ, Stocklake, Aylesbury
Bucks Fire and Rescue HQ, Stocklake, Aylesbury

Firefighters are planning a march next week in an effort to help the public understand the reasons behind the ongoing strikes.

The march will start outside Bucks Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters in Stocklake, Aylesbury at 12.30pm on Tuesday June 24.

The firefighters will march to Aylesbury town centre, where from 1pm they will be handing out leaflets and talking to the public.

This will come just two days after the latest strike by firefighters in Bucks and across the country, between 10am and 5pm tomorrow (Saturday).

Keith Williams, Fire Brigades Union chair for Bucks said: “A lot of the public don’t understand the reasons behind the strike action.

“There is a misconception that we always strike for more money.

“We are striking because our pension contributions are being increased and because we are concerned about having to work into our fifties.

“We believe that a high percentage of firefighters will not be fit enough at say 55 to go and rescue the public from burning buildings.”

Mr Williams added that the firefighters were also unhappy with Bucks Fire and Rescue’s decision not to accept partial performance.

He said: “Our understanding is that Bucks is the only fire authority in England and Wales not to pay us for returning to work the rest of our shift if it is only a short strike.

“We feel we are being treated more harshly than any other firefighters in the country.”

Chief fire officer Mark Jones said he felt Bucks Fire Brigades Union’s criticism over partial performance was “designed to divert attention away from the fact that the Fire Briagdes Union is choosing to withdraw its labour and place the public at risk.”

He added: “It also seems that they don’t just want to go on strike – they also want to control how Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service manages their absence.

“I am delighted that so many of our firefighters and officers will give their loyalty to protecting the public on Saturday rather than taking strike action.”

Bucks Fire and Rescue Service are also urging the public to be extra vigilant during tomorrow’s period of strike action.