Police and Fire staff on New Year's Eve strike

11:53am Tuesday 31st December 2013

By Natalie Glanvill

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) are striking today until midnight in protest of a below inflation one per cent pay rise, pensions and the retirement age.

The Metropolitan Police has a continuity plan in place for the 24-hour strike.

More than 7,500 police and community support officers, detention officers in custody suites and administration staff began the strike at midnight last night.

Mark Serwotka, PCS General Sectretary, said: "The Metropolitan Police is not short of money. It does not need to force pay cuts on low-paid staff who help to keep London safe."

"The force said New Year's Eve was one of the busiest days of the year for the service but it had "appropriate plans in place".

The FBU, which represents over 85 per cent of the uniformed staff of the England and Wales fire service, will start their six hour strike at 6.30pm today.

Fire Brigades Union General Secretary, Matt Wrack, said: "None of us wanted these strikes, but firefighters on duty over the festive period don’t have much to celebrate this year as they are being priced out of their pensions and face the sack because the government can’t accept that 60-year-old men and women can’t meet the same fitness standards as 20-year-olds.

“We need to see genuine dialogue and real negotiations to resolve this dispute, so perhaps the Prime Minister would like to come along to visit firefighters on New Year’s Eve and hear directly why they are so angry?”

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