to strike on 8 consecutive days over Government's "vicious"
FIREFIGHTERS in England and
Wales will strike on eight consecutive days this month, saying that
the current proposals by government are unacceptable, unworkable,
unrealistic and nothing short of a "vicious" attack on
Strikes will take place:-
Monday, 14 July from 6am to 8am and 5pm to 7pm;
Tuesday, 15 July from 6am to 8am and 5pm to 7pm;
Wednesday, 16 July: 6am to 8am and 5pm to 7pm;
Thursday, 17 July from 6am to 8am and 5pm to 7pm; Friday, 18 July
from 6am to 8am; 11pm to 1am on Saturday, 19 July;
Saturday, 19 July from 11am to 1pm; 11pm to 1am on Sunday, 20 July;
Sunday, 20 July from 5pm to 7pm;
Monday, 21 July from 6am to 8am and 5pm to 7pm;
The Fire Brigades Union has been in negotiations with the government
for 3 years in an attempt to avoid the implementation of proposals
that they say would see firefighters paying more, working longer and
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:- "The government must
realise that firefighters cannot accept proposals that would have
such devastating consequences for their futures, their families'
futures; and the future of the fire and rescue service itself.
We have tried every route available to us to make the government see
sense over their attacks. 3 years of negotiations have come to
nothing because the government is simply unwilling to compromise or
even listen to reason despite a huge amount of evidence showing
their planned scheme is unworkable. Shorter strike periods
have illustrated the strength of feeling amongst firefighters whilst
limiting disruption to the fire service, the public and our members'
working lives. But the government is merely ploughing ahead,
forcing firefighters to react."
A recent academic report on firefighter fitness by the University of
Bath undermined the government's proposals by arguing that higher
fitness levels are required for firefighting than those suggested by
the government to defend the idea of working until 60.
In comparison the government in Northern Ireland recently offered
firefighters a retirement age of 55.
The FBU says this demonstrates that the Westminster government's
position is not justified by evidence or lack of affordability.
Matt Wrack said:- "The offer in N Ireland was achieved through
negotiation without any industrial action being necessary.
This clearly shows that if both sides are willing to talk, things
can be resolved. This makes a mockery of the government's
claims that the union is walking away from talks."
During negotiations with the FBU, the government in Westminster
recently imposed a third annual increase in firefighters' pension
contributions, taking them to 14.2% for most firefighters; one of
the highest in the public or private sector.
This means that a firefighter with a salary of less than £29,000 now
pays around £4,000 a year for a pension that is being devalued and
attacked; and the government has now issued proposals for a
4th year increase for many firefighters.
The FBU also recently launched a legal challenge against the
government's proposals, saying they have received advice that the
current proposals reducing firefighters pensions by almost 50% at
age 55 is unlawful and amounts to age discrimination.
Firefighters are also due to strike next week on Thursday, 10 July
the 15th in their campaign; alongside local government workers,
teachers and civil servants, who are campaigning over a range of
issues, including attacks on pay and pensions and workloads.
Firefighters voted by 78% for strike action in August 2013.
Writing on the
Wall introduces Liverpool's first Virtual Book Fair
WRITING on the Wall hosts
Liverpool's first Virtual Book Fair with an exciting selection of
writers and publishers who work across a range of platforms in
publishing, self-publishing and digital publishing, and interactive
based activities and demonstrations.
Taking place in the stunning atrium of Liverpool's Central Library,
Writing on the Wall will host a day of interactive, hands-on
readings, discussion and interactions with those at the top of their
games in publishing.
With an introduction by Downtown in Business Director, Frank Mckenna,
The Virtual Book Fair will explore business models of online
publishing and encompass publishing powerhouses such as Anna
Rafferty, whose innovation during her time as managing director of
Penguin Digital showed different ways of marketing books to a
fast-paced population, and Linda Bennett, director and editor of
Crime at Salt Publishing, who will speak about the ways authors
today can put themselves on the literary map.
Jim Hinks of Comma Press will be introducing his app LitNav. From
your fingertips you can read and travel the world via their
collection of short stories. Designed with commuters in mind, these
bite sized gems will take you on the alternative route. Liverpool to
Venice to Zurich, where do you want to go next?
Beth Reekles wrote her first novel aged 15 which she self-published
on Watt Pad, after it received 19 million views; she signed a 3 book
deal with Random House. Liverpool's Virtual Book Fair is delighted
to introduce Beth Reekles to the stage to discuss her self-published
success and the impact that self-published authors are having on the
way we read now.
Other exciting highlights include our Twitter Haiku Competition,
join our resident poets and write your best Twitter Haiku to be in
with the chance of winning some exciting prizes!
Try out the newest interactive novels for virtual readers at our
Digital Station, courtesy of revolutionary app inventors Touch
Press. Catch up with webinars streamed from across the globe,
including Blackwell's Digital Manager, Kjell Eldor, as he speaks to
us about the future of books in a digital age.
Our Children's Pod will be open throughout the day! A magical and
interactive experience for the whole family. Join our resident
illustrators and storytellers from The Wild Writers as they host
storytelling sessions, where their imaginative work, with the help
of our young audience, will be projected around the pod.
Madeline Heneghan,Writing on the Wall Director, says:- 'The
age of digital print is a key issue for readers, writers and
business, both within the world of literature and publishing. With
new platforms, such as Kindle, and e-publishers taking on the
traditional book format, there are many exciting developments for
literature, including a cross-over into the world of gaming. The
virtual book fair will help participants discover new ways of
writing and working, with the opportunity for networking and the
potential for future collaborations.'
Come down the Writing on the Wall's Virtual Book Fair as part of the
Culture programme for the International Festival of Business.