|Willesden Green Green Party candidates Shahrar Ali and Martin Francis join the picket line|
It was good to join the Fire Brigade Union pickets at Willesen Fire Station this afternoon to express Green Party support for their Bank Holiday strike against changes in their pensions and working conditions. Firefighters, like teachers, are facing an increase in the age at which they can retire.
The professions are very different but in both cases the government is ignoring the effect of age on the capacity to do the job effectively. Both firefighters and teachers face the prospect of having to retire early through illhealth or competency procedures with a detrimental impact on their pensions, apart from the demoralising effect of end a career on such grounds.
The Green Party Trade Union Group issued the following statement this afternoon:
The Green Party Trade Union group sends its support to FBU members striking over the May bank holiday weekend 2014 against “totally unworkable, unaffordable, unsustainable and unfair” changes to firefighters’ pensions. GPTU recognises that FBU members perform strenuous, dangerous and, at times, heroic work on behalf of the community. Their dedication is needed by us all as they are increasingly on the frontline against the damage being caused by climate change. Instead of taking effective measures to combat climate change the government disgracefully attacks firefighters’ just rewards for their vital work.Shame on the government and victory to the FBU!
Pete Murry, GPTU Secretary