Dispute hits schools and firefighters

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Council workers and firefighters are striking today as part of an ongoing battle over wages and pensions.

A number of employees at Lincolnshire County Council will be staying away from work as part of an ongoing row over pay and conditions.

Members of Unison are taking part in the planned national strike as they say they have no other choice in their pay argument with the local authority.

And they will also be joined on the picket line by members of the Fire Brigades’ Union as part of their row with the government over a pensions dispute.

The Fire Brigades Union will strike until 7pm today in the dispute over the reform of firefighter pension schemes.

From next week they will strike on eight consecutive days:

l Monday, July 14: 6am-8am and 5pm-7pm

l Tuesday, July 15: 6am-8am and 5pm-7pm

l Wednesday, July 16: 6am-8am and 5pm-7pm

l Thursday, July 17: 6am-8am and 5pm-7pm

l Friday, July 18: 6am-8am and 11pm-1am

l Saturday, July 19: 11am-1pm and 11pm-1am

l Sunday, July 20: 5pm-7pm

l Monday, July 21: 6am-8am and 5pm-7pm

Dave Ramscar, chief fire officer at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “We are confident our plans will enable us to continue to answer 999 calls and to respond to incidents as quickly as possible.

“We continue to remind people to take care on their daily business and that there is further safety advice on our website and on Twitter @lincsfirerescue.”

Schools affected include Gosberton Primary School, which will be closed, and the Priory School in Spalding, which is partially closed for Years 7, 9 and 10.

Debbie Barnes, Lincolnshire County Council executive director, said: “As a responsible authority we have been making plans for this industrial action for many weeks, and have agreed service exemptions with the trade unions.”

to ensure that vital life and limb services are maintained.

“We have also put plans in place to minimise any disruption to other council services including a restriction on annual leave for the proposed day of strike action, and have asked managers to plan services around possible reduced staffing levels.

“We have advised schools that if they will be without staff they have to consider whether they have adequate cover to ensure the safety of children - this will determine whether they should close or partially close for the day or remain open. Schools that are closing should be informing parents and carers as soon as possible so that they can make arrangements for their children.”