Hull March & Demonstration, 29/3/14

The Fire Authority in Humberside recently voted to AXE one fire appliance from East Hull station and more worryingly voted to reduce the ridership on all appliances in Hull from 5  down to 4!

As a result of these dangerous cuts to the service, there will be a march and demonstration in Hull on Saturday 29th March. The march is assembling at 10am outside of East Hull Fire Station, Southcoates Lane, Hull, HU9 3TS .

Please come along and show your support to our Regional Comrades and join them in the demonstration!


Posted in Uncategorized

! URGENT ! Buying Back Your Pension Contributions During Strike Action

We understand that members in some fire and rescue services have been informed by their employer that they will not be given an opportunity to buy back their contributions until after the conclusion of the trade dispute and at that time, members must register their wish to do so within 6 months of that date.

Such advice given by a fire and rescue authority is inaccurate and may be based on a simple misreading of the regulations!

The accurate position is that members of the pension schemes will be entitled to buy back their lost service within six months of having returned to duty following any period of absence (other than in respect of maternity, paternity or adoption leave).

If you are wishing to buy back contributions for strike days, you need to apply within 6 months of returning to work from the date the action was taken. The first strike date was Wednesday 25th September 2013, so members taking action that day (White watch in West Yorks) only have 1 week left to apply.

Therefore, if you wish to buy back the pension for the periods of strike action taken, you are strongly advised to email or write to Employment Services expressing the desire to do so without delay!

Posted in Pension

RDS Pension Victory

The Fire Brigades Union has this week heralded victory in the fight for access to fairer pensions for retained firefighters in England — but warned the campaign against government attacks continues.

Retained, or part-time firefighters who worked between 1 July 2000 to 5 April 2006 will from 1 April be able retrospectively to access a similar pension to whole-time colleagues.

In 2008 the courts ruled that retained firefighters had been discriminated against under regulations relating to the less favourable treatment of part-time workers after a lengthy court battle.

Since then negotiations have taken place solely between the FBU and DCLG to enable RDS firefighters to get what they are entitled to. As part of these negotiations the FBU have also achieved a method of repayment that should make it easier for those who wish to join.

However, because the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) dragged its feet in implementing a decision, the issue became one of eight points in the FBU’s long running dispute over pensions.

After six years of campaigning by the FBU, the government has now relented and made moves to enact the ruling.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This is a victory for firefighters and the FBU particularly, who campaigned alone for fair pensions for retained members.

“Our union is the expert voice on firefighter pensions and our members will now be able to access professional advice on the details of the scheme and the advantages of joining.

“But the campaign to defend the pensions of retained and whole-time firefighters continues, and firefighters across the UK are united in our determination to ensure a workable, fair and affordable scheme for everyone.”

Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) now have until 1 April 2015 to identify eligible individuals and explain how they can join the scheme.

The union said that although the change applied to England specifically, it expected the same process to be followed by devolved government in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Posted in Uncategorized

Matt Wrack’s Response To Contribution Increases

Government green lights third successive annual pension contribution hike despite firefighters’ “serious concerns”

The Department for Communities and Local Government has said that it will raise the amount Firefighters must pay towards their pensions from 1 April 2014 despite the concerns raised by the Fire Brigades Union during the recent consultation. The same increases have also been announced in Scotland, and similar announcements from Wales and Northern Ireland appear imminent.

Responding, Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Since their time in office, this government’s attacks on pensions and the fire and rescue service as a whole have been relentless, and yet again they have refused to listen to the concerns of Firefighters.  “Firefighters are proud to work tirelessly for their communities, but the government’s response is to make their pensions unaffordable and jeopardise their retirement.  “Surely now it’s time to draw a line in the sand and say no more attacks on our pensions and no more cuts to our service.”

Posted in Pension

Pension Contributions To Increase Again From April!

New Pension Contributions From April 2014


1.3%  for Firefighters, taking them up to 14.2 %

1.5%  for CC & WC earning between £30-£40,000, taking them up to 14.7 %

1.7%  for Station managers, taking them up to 15.2%


 0.8% for Firefighters, taking them up to 10.4%

1% for CC & WC earning between £30-£40,000K, taking them up to 10.9%

1.1% for  Station managers. taking them up to 11.2%


DCLG have issued a summary of responses to the proposed increases to the 1992 and 2006 Firefighters’ Pension Scheme from 1 April 2014. This document also confirms the intention to increase the full amount despite the concerns that the FBU has raised. The Scottish Public Pension Agency has also issued a circular announcing the same increases.

The decisions to impose the full increases from 1 April 2014 is another attack on our pension rights and highlights the difficulty that the union has faced in influencing Government in respect of their current pension proposals. It marks another step in making our pension schemes less and less affordable.

The union is involved in ongoing discussions in relation to some specific scheme proposals and will shortly be in position to take an informed view on the Government’s overall position. It is obviously important to asses all aspect of the attacks on our pensions in the round. The Executive Council will be meeting to discuss this and all other developments and will consider this setback in their overall assessment.

Please ensure that you keep up-to-date with the situation as it develops through Branch meetings and the FBU website.

Posted in Pension

Insurance Benefits for FBU Members


The FBU has been working with UIA Insurance for several years now and it is appropriate that updates are issued from time to time to remind our members of the benefits available.

UIA Insurance offers great value, low cost insurance for trade union members and their families and has done so for over 120 years.  As a mutual insurer, UIA reinvests any surplus in order to keep premiums low.  Their underlying principles mean that FBU members can be sure of a consistently fair and honest approach from an approved mutual company – a company that shares trade union values.

All products are easily purchased by calling 0800 0304 606 or online at UIA also offers interest free instalments for policyholders wishing to pay home insurance by direct debit.


Posted in Uncategorized

Pension Update From Matt Wrack

CIRCULAR:  2014HOC0151MW      TO:  ALL MEMBERS 28th February 2014

Dear Brother/Sister


The Executive Council met on 27 February to consider the most recent developments in relation to our campaign against attacks on our pensions. The meeting also considered a letter which had been received from Brandon Lewis, the DCLG fire minister. The letter is attached for your information.

The union continues to pursue all aspect of our concerns regarding the government proposals for pensions, although clearly in some areas, we face greater obstacles than in others. This appears to be the case for example, in relation to the current proposals on transitional protection, which remains a key issue for the union. Nevertheless, the Executive Council remains committed to exploring every possible area for potential improvement. We know very clearly that the current proposals are unworkable and unacceptable. We may need to take further strike action against them.  However, what is not currently known is whether a revised set of proposals will be presented, or (if such revised proposals are presented) what the details might be. But our conference mandated the Executive Council to explore every single avenue and every single option to seek improvements and that remains the case. Should revised proposals emerge, the Executive Council would need to consider whether they were worthy of consideration by our members.

It is in this context that you are asked to consider the attached letter from Brandon Lewis. It confirms that several areas of the current proposals are currently being re-examined. Indeed, we understand that the DCLG has invested some financial resources to ensure that the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) completes various aspects of work. This work arises from discussion between ourselves, our own actuarial advisors and GAD over recent weeks. The letter also confirms a point raised during earlier discussions in which the DCLG confirmed that they are willing to continue discussing some scheme design issues beyond the formal close of public consultation on the proposed 2015 scheme.

In addition, the letter confirms that progress in relation to the retained pension settlement should be made very soon. The Executive Council agreed that we will need to undertake an exercise to ensure that RDS members are made aware of the settlement and the implications for themselves.

Members should also note that we continue to explore all other avenues to try to defend pensions. This includes political and legal aspects as well as industrial action. We are aware that many members continue to lobby local MPs and other politicians, and this should continue. Branch officials are asked to assist members in this campaigning work. FBU members have regularly raised various concerns about the legality of the government’s attack. We have discussed these regularly with our legal advisors and continue to do so. It is obviously not sensible to publish any legal advice received on such matters, but Regional and Brigade Committees will be briefed on this aspect of our campaign.

Despite acknowledging that in certain areas the letter from Mr. Lewis provides positive signals, the Executive Council was clear that this in no way provided any guarantee that revised proposals would be forthcoming. The Executive Council was also concerned about the need to clarify the timeframe for any further discussions. This issue will now be raised again with the DCLG and with the Minister. It was agreed that the next meeting of the Executive Council should be scheduled depending on the response to this issue.

Best wishes.

Yours fraternally




Posted in Pension

Pension’s Update

The FBU negotiating team met with Brandon Lewis on the 22nd and the 28th of January and again on the 11th February.

All Industrial action, including action short of strike, was suspended in order for these discussions to take place. The mandates for strike action and ASOS still remain ‘live’, so should talks break down, no future ballots will be required.

The three meetings with Brandon Lewis and his team were reported as being positive and resulted in the Fire Minister suggesting that the Government can provide firm guarantee’s which will address the union’s ” No Job, No Pension” concerns.

The FBU Executive Council has recently met on the 12th and 27th of February, to discuss the current negotiations. The national officers are satisfied that the talks have been genuine and have so far included actuaries and lawyers from both sides. The details being discussed are of a technical nature and require complex calculations and legal discussion. The Government and FBU actuaries and legal teams will meet regularly over the next couple of weeks. A further meeting with Brandon Lewis is also scheduled.

Since the start of this campaign over two years ago, the FBU has always stated they wish to resolve the pension dispute by negotiations, this is finally what’s happening! Our campaign has been a long and hard battle, but if we continue to stand together in unity, we can win the fight for a fair and just pension!

As soon as we hear of any developments that can be reported, we will update this news page.

Posted in Pension

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