We have previously reported (circular 2017HOC0108MW) the disappointing outcome of the Employment Tribunal relating to pensions, in which we were unsuccessful. We have today attended a case conference with our legal advisors to discuss this outcome and the way forward.
You will also be aware that a case very similar to our own had been registered on behalf of judges. As we have previously reported, the judges were successful in their case at the Employment Tribunal. The legal arguments in both cases were very similar. Indeed, our legal advisors felt that in various areas, the firefighters’ case was stronger. So the situation is that two employment tribunals, considering two cases with similar, and often overlapping sets of argument, have reached opposite conclusions. There is an obvious legal contradiction.
Prior to the judgements, the government had made clear in both cases (the FBU case and the judges’ case) that if it lost the case, it would appeal the decision. An appeal is therefore expected against the decision in the judges’ case and would also have been expected had we been successful. Therefore it was always most likely that the legal arguments made in relation to both cases would end up at an appeal. The next appeal stage is to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).
Our legal advisors remain confident that we have strong legal arguments and a strong basis for an appeal. I can therefore confirm that we have instructed our lawyers to start the process of appealing the judgement of the Employment Tribunal. The Executive Council had previously agreed this position subject to the meeting with the legal team. The union will not give up the fight for pension’s justice.
Further information will follow when available.Yours fraternally