Stand up for members
‘Stand up for members’ – national Federation urged to re-consider stance on pensions
The national Federation should be fighting the current pensions issue with the same level of passion and dedication as its members show when serving the public, according to Humberside Police Federation.
In a hard-hitting letter to the Federation’s national chair, John Apter, the Humberside branch has criticised the Federation for its stance on challenging changes to the police pension schemes, saying not fighting for something so important to members is ‘astounding, disappointing and hopelessly out of touch’.
It calls on John to re-think the national Federation’s position, stand up for members on this issue and fight for what members want and deserve. One Humberside Police Federation representative has already resigned due to frustration and anger at the national Federation’s stance.
“The Federation is a staff association whose core function is to represent our members, and to fight and negotiate for the best possible outcome for those who run towards danger and day after day put themselves in harm’s way,” the letter states.
“Our Branch Council believes strongly in that function and fighting for what our members believe in. The feedback here in Humberside has overwhelmingly been that members want the Federation to fight for them now, more than ever, to fight for them to be placed back on to their old pension schemes or to fight for at least the right to choose based on individual circumstances.”
The row has erupted following last Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on the firefighters’ pensions which refused the Government leave to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal which had previously held that the transitional pension arrangements for firefighters and judges were illegal on the grounds of age discrimination
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has been watching developments in the fire service and judges’ pension cases when considering members’ concerns over the effects of the introduction of the 2015 Police Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) Scheme.
Yesterday, PFEW put out a statement in which it asked for all protections for members to be retained until 2022 and also set out a list of other expectations in calling for the Government to ‘do the right thing’.
However, Humberside Police Federation believes retention until 2022 fails to recognise the current discrimination against a significant proportion of the membership and says it’s unfair and divisive, pointing out that stance is ‘categorically’ not the wish of members in Humberside, the local Federation’s Branch Council or elected representatives.
n the letter to the national chair, the Humberside representatives say: “We write to you on behalf of the Humberside Police Federation and the hard working and dedicated members in Humberside that we are elected to represent; members whose pay, conditions and pensions have been substantially devalued by the current and former governments since austerity began.”
It believes the national Federation should look at funding claims on behalf of members.
“Our members go forward every day and do the right thing, we urge - as a small, but passionate, dedicated and representative office - the national Federation to take up this challenge on behalf of members and fight this issue with same level of passion and dedication our members serve and protect the public,” the letter continues.
But it also criticises the way in which PFEW has handled the issue.
“At no point has the National Council (made up of local chair and secretaries) or the membership been consulted as to the direction the Federation takes in light of recent legal rulings, and this is not - and cannot be - the direction of travel of an organisation funded by that membership,” the letter states.
“Locally, we have not needed to consult, our members are making views clear to our representatives across rank and file, but we have also reached out and we know the depth of feeling.”
Read the letter in full here