Changes to pay and conditions a “steep learning curve for all", General Secretary warns
02 June 2015
The Police Federation has acted in ‘what we believe to be the best interests of members’ in discussions over the future of pay and conditions, the organisation’s General Secretary told this year’s annual conference.
Andy Fittes told delegates at the Federation’s Annual General Meeting last week: “This year has seen significant changes to the way that the Police Federation has been required to engage in pay and conditions, and it has been a steep learning curve for us all.”
He added: “It’s been a challenging year but we’ve acted in what we believe to be the best interests of members to ensure that new measures introduced are as fair and reasonable as possible.”
Discussing pensions, Mr Fittes explained that, although the Federation does not have the right to negotiate on officer pensions, there had been a number of successes including: improved protection for the benefits officers have accrued; an extension for members to transfer into the new pension schemes; extension of the buy-back scheme for unpaid leave; and successfully pressuring the government to drop its proposal to raise the minimum pension age to 57 in 2028 for police schemes.
Mr Fittes went on to explain that the Federation has a seat on the new Scheme Advisory Board, which will advise the Home Secretary on the efficient operation of the police pension schemes. The Federation’s involvement in the board ensures that “officers receive the best service possible” on decisions involving police pension in the future, he said.
On the newly introduced CARE 2015 scheme for officers’ pensions, Mr Fittes said: “Although we never supported the changes to the pension schemes, officers need to provide for their retirement. I remain convinced that the scheme is a good deal for officers; better than those they could access privately.”