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N Ireland firefighters balloted on pensions deal

N Ireland members are currently being balloted for their views on a proposed pension scheme for firefighters which includes a normal pension age (NPA) of 55.

This proposal follows a lengthy campaign by the union which has submitted a detailed and professional evidence-based case arguing that an occupational pension scheme for firefighters must reflect the occupation which firefighters undertake.

Significantly, the N Ireland Assembly has agreed the NPA of 55 unlike all other parts of the UK where an unworkable one of 60 has been imposed.

Sean Starbuck, FBU national officer, said: “The FBU has made its case throughout the past three years and welcomes the notable difference from the approach adopted by DCLG at Westminster.

“The ballot recognises that there are still outstanding areas of concern that the union will continue campaigning to improve but the executive council recommends that the trade dispute in N Ireland is lifted.

“This is yet another clear indication that the FBU does not walk away from real negotiation and is committed to resolving this long running pension dispute.”

The ballot, which ends on 22 October, asks members if they support an executive council statement which notes that this is currently the best proposal from any government in the UK.

N Ireland members were not previously balloted in the same way as their colleagues from the rest of the UK and have not been called to take any industrial action as the N Ireland Assembly took a different stance and listened to the concerns raised by firefighters and the union.

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