Strike action has cost county £120,000

By Ian Dipple Friday 13 June 2014 Updated: 13/06 09:23

STRIKE action has cost the county's fire service more than £120,000 so far it has been revealed.

The figure does not include the 24 hour walkout firefighters across the county took part in yesterday (Thursday) in their continuing dispute with the Government over pension changes.

Firefighters have already staged 12 stoppages since the row began last year with 51 wholetime firefighters and 48 retained firefighters on strike at any one time.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service has put measures in place to minimise the impact of the strikes including paying volunteers, which have cost £121,000.

Firefighters are set to strike again between 10am and 5pm on Saturday, June 21.

Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates said they had dealt well so far with on average 26 appliances out of a total of 43 available during a period of strike action. But he added: "We go on dealing with that [industrial action] but the costs will grow."

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades' Union, said: "It is as ever a difficult decision for us to take, but the only way for us to resolve this unnecessary and costly dispute is for the Government to start listening to reason."

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