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Fire unions issue strike action warning
9:04am Friday 25th April 2014 in News
Unions have warned of strike action with firefighters walking out over three dates and council workers being balloted.
Over the first weekend of May firefighters will be taking part in further industrial action over pensions – there will also be a ban on voluntary overtime.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is calling on businesses and members of the public to take extra precautions over the strike period.
Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “We are ready to provide cover during the strike action.
Crews made up of non-Fire Brigades Union members and retained firefighters will respond to emergencies – giving priority to those where lives are at risk.
“While we are committed to doing all we can to protect those who live and work, the level of cover will be reduced and so we need your help to stay safe.
“Businesses should check their fire safety measures and homeowners can check their smoke alarms and take extra care while cooking.”
The FBU strikes will take place on May 2 from noon until 5pm, May 3 from 2pm until 2am and on May 4 from 10am until 3pm.
Council workers and school support staff within Unison are also being balloted over strike action. The union, which has branches in East and West Sussex and Brighton and Hove, said 600,000 government and school members in England will vote in the coming weeks on whether or not to launch a campaign of industrial action.
The move followed a ballot which showed 70% of Unison members opposed a pay offer made to the union that was worth 1% for most workers.
Employees covered by the offer include teaching assistants, planners, administrators, social workers and engineers.
Heather Wakefield, national officer for Unison, said: “Our members have made it clear that this pay offer is the straw that breaks the camel’s back after years of pay freezes and below-inflation rises.
“This offer is effectively another pay freeze for the majority of our local government and school members.
“Local government workers have kept services running in the face of the Government's harsh austerity agenda and they deserve more than just a bare minimum pay increase.”
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