Over the last couple of weeks the FBU has been focused on the issues around pensions and has taken the opportunity to raise our concerns politically over two weekends at both the SNP and Labour Party spring conferences. These events allow more time to speak with politicians than is normally available and gives us the chance to explain the subject in more detail.
The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service is just a few days old but it has proven to be something of a baptism of fire - quite literally in some cases. Large areas of Highland Scotland were ablaze, there have been numerous other fire incidents and rescues of various kinds. The positive from this is that the new service coped with this and operated as everyone expected. As the service settles into the new routine a large body of work remains to bring together the previous 8 policies and practices.
Firefighters assembled from all parts of Scotland to show the strength of feeling regarding the proposed changes to their pension schemes. We estimate that over 350 FBU members attended and over 170 Scottish Police Federation members, who are facing changes to what is a similar scheme to our own, joined them. This was a very impressive show by members and something that politicians cannot ignore.
To keep members as up to date as possible, the latest LSO Resource document is now available (Resources). As with the previous versions this document is a working draft and is liable to alter. This versions shows;Response & Resilience - minor amendments and updatedPrevention & Protection - current state of development. Still under discussion and negotiation. This is progressing.POD - for illustration. No detailed discussion or negotiation.
The Scottish Firefighters Pensions Forum met Tuesday 26th in Edinburgh. The first business was unfortunately to confirm that the UK Government have put in place the year 2 members contribution increase. This was particularly disappointing after the work that was gone into regarding the potential level of opt-outs. The Scottish Government confirmed that in line with the correspondence (available in Resources) between Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, they will be be making an identical increase.