This further statement is issued to update FBU members on other developments in relation to pensions following the earlier statement issued regarding discussions with DCLG.
Alternative proposals for Wales
Firefighter pensions are a devolved matter. This has meant that the FBU negotiators have held discussions with the four governments covering all parts of the UK. Our members in England and Wales have been taking strike action as a result of the refusal of the relevant governments to present any alternative proposals for consideration by members.
Over the past few weeks, alongside our discussions with officials of DCLG, discussions have continued with officials of the other governments. This afternoon the General Secretary received communication from the Welsh government. This confirms that the fire minister in Wales (Minister for Public Services) is now making preparations to consult on an alternative pension scheme design which would take account of a number of technical arguments which the FBU has raised during negotiations. These are arguments which have so far been rejected by DCLG in relation to the English proposals.
The Executive Council has only just received this communication and has not yet had the opportunity to assess the impact or the implications for the proposed pension scheme in Wales. However, it appears likely to be of some significance for large numbers of FBU members.
The changed position in Wales will need to be considered in relation to the lack of any revised proposals from DCLG.
The Executive Council has therefore extended its meeting and remains in session. A further report will follow the conclusion of the meeting tomorrow.