Modified Pension Scheme
As promised we wanted to provide members with a further update on the second options exercise for Retained/On-Call firefighters to join or extend their pensionable service of the Modified Pension Scheme.
Following the first virtual meeting with the government on 29 July, correspondence has been exchanged on the position of each side with progress continuing to be made. However, as is the case with legal negotiations, these discussions are ‘without prejudice’, meaning that they are not binding on all parties until a final agreement is reached.
While we are not able to provide members with the detail of the discussions due to confidentiality, please be assured that your interests are being best served by the representative bodies. The progress is unlikely to be concluded in the coming weeks, it is more likely to be months, so please be patient and as soon as we are able to report further, we will do so via our usual communication channels.
We have been inundated with calls on this subject and will continue to provide advice on individual cases as best we can under the circumstances.
One of the many benefits of membership is the support, advice, guidance and representation that is available should a member find him/herself caught up in the disciplinary process. Strangely no two Fire Services seem to operate in the exact same way, despite the guidance in the Grey Book and ACAS Code of Practice and it can be a minefield of jargon, procedures and legal terms. Fortunately, as a member you do not need to worry about any of this as our local and national officials are able to support you through the entire process.
As an example of just how detailed and complex matters can become, here are two recent cases that have now been concluded. One related to a member who was dismissed by their service but through our representations has been reinstated on appeal. The second case went all the way through to Employment Tribunal as an unfair dismissal claim. As per our rules, our member was indemnified by the FRSA and all legal costs we met by the Association. In this case a settlement was agreed which provided our member with a five-figure sum.
Unfortunately, either due to confidentiality agreements or so as not to cause embarrassment to the relevant Fire Authorities, we are either unable or disinclined to name the services involved, but such illustrations provide a snapshot as to the benefits of membership in extreme cases
Representation in such matters is extremely time consuming and complex, so it is to our officials’ credit that they are able to offer this invaluable service to our members on a far too regular basis.
In addition to representing individual members at local level we also provide our ‘member-led’ view on national matters. In the coming weeks we will have provided formal responses to the following consultation papers:
Such pieces of work are regular and ongoing, and it is vital that your views are represented at national level.
During the month of August, we have been running an incentive scheme whereby any new full member who joins the FRSA by referral of a colleague receives their first two-months membership free. Plus, the referrer receives a £25 Amazon voucher for every new member who signs up based on their recommendation, alternatively the money can be used as a donation to The Fire Fighters Charity. The initiative has worked so well that we have decided to extend it during the month of September.
Further details can be found on our website.