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Lancashire firemen's fury over chief's £10k pay rise
LANCASHIRE firefighters have been angered by a £10,000 pay rise to their chief officer as they strike over their pension and retirement age.
Hundreds walked out on Friday night and yesterday morning in their dispute with the government.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said 37 out 63 appliances were on the road during the action including all those operating from main stations at Blackburn, Hyndburn and Burnley.
There were no major incidents in the east of the county during yesterday’s strike period.
Lancashire Combined Fire Authority chairman Frank de Molfetta confirmed Chief Fire Officer Chris Kenny’s annual salary had been increased from £140,000 a year to £150,000 from last month because of an agreement made with previous CFA boss, Tory councillor David O’Toole, on his appointment a year ago.
Coun de Molfetta revealed he was considering rises for deputy chief Justin Johnson and assistant Dave Russell who had also been appointed on salaries below the maximum and less than previous post-holders.
Fire Brigade union county secretary Steve Harman said: “The pay increase has created a lot of anger among firefighters.
“We are in dispute with the government over our pensions and conditions.
“The strike action is strongly supported by the majority of our members.”Mr Johnson earns £114,750 a year and Mr Russell £108,000.
Hyndburn Council leader and former FBU official Miles Parkinson took the decision as vice-chairman with Coun de Molfetta but said: “This increase gives me great unease.”
Coun O’Toole was unavailable for comment.
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