The FDA Executive Committee (EC) met yesterday to consider the Government's final offer on future civil service pension arrangements, and how the FDA should respond.
In a lengthy debate, the EC considered the offer in detail and discussed arrangements for the ballot of all members in which a final decision will be taken. Consideration was given to all of the options open to the union and its members in confronting probably the most difficult issue we have faced in a generation.
While significant concerns remain - including the FDA's continued opposition to both the imposed higher pension contributions, and the switch from RPI to CPI for the uprating of pensions - the EC recognised the progress that had been made in the negotiations, in particular since the TUC-wide industrial action of 30 November 2011.
The EC concluded that, in these circumstances, the offer would be put to members as the best possible that could be achieved by negotiation. Members would be asked to decide whether they were prepared as individuals to either vote to accept the offer however reluctantly, or to vote no and therefore commit to a sustained campaign of industrial action on the basis of the existing ballot mandate.
Work is now underway to prepare a detailed analysis of the offer for members, together with supporting information including a pensions calculator. Meetings are being organised across the UK to commence after Easter, at which members will be able to discuss both the offer and the options that the FDA and other unions face in this very difficult position.
A more detailed briefing was sent to members on 22 March 2012 and can be read at FDA Pensions Home. You will need to log into the FDA website to view this page.