Jersey firefighters win latest pensions battle over SEB

The firefighters union in Jersey has won the latest legal battle with the States Employment Board (SEB), after the board failed to uphold an agreement designed to prevent emergency services from striking.

Last week (18 April), the Royal Court ruled that the SEB must uphold the original decision of the Employment Tribunal in 2018, which ruled in favour of The Fire and Rescue Services Association (FRSA). The case will now proceed to arbitration.

The tribunal ruled that the SEB beached a “collective agreement” with FRSA after failing to meet with staff representatives after they raised concerns over a new pension scheme.

Prospect, the union representing the FRSA, said that members were left worse off when the board switched the pension scheme to Career Average Revalued Earnings, and are now calling for member compensation.

The latest defeat marks the third for the SEB, after it lost an Employment Tribunal appeal in 2018.

An SEB spokesperson said: “The States Employment Board are disappointed with the judgement from the Royal Court and will study the judgement in detail before responding further.”

Prospect negotiations officer, Bob King,commented: “I am very pleased that the Royal Court dismissed the States’ appeal. These are firefighters, dedicated to public service, and I think they have been treated very shabbily. I am proud of the commitment shown by our members.

“By being part of a union like Prospect these public servants are able to stand up for their rights at work, including in this case by enforcing them in court.

“We hope that this issue can now go to arbitration, and achieve a fair outcome for our members on these changes to their pensions.”

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