Jersey Airport firefighters to vote on industrial action

Airport firefighters are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pensions.

Their union says new joiners are being barred from joining the Public Employees’ Pension Fund scheme.

Prospect says new staff will only have access to what it call a' savings scheme that provides a finite sum'.

National Secretary Bob King says it's 'beyond the pale that Ports of Jersey has singled them out for this treatment'.

"Firefighters at Jersey Airport provide a vital emergency service, the same as any other dedicated emergency service worker.

“The changes made will force Firefighters to work to at least age 67 whilst maintaining a high level of fitness and the ability to undertake significant physical tasks. the majority of which are required within the 3-minute Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) response time necessary for the licensing of the Aerodrome."

He says they are left with no choice but to take this action, and has warned that it may close the airfield at times.

Ports of Jersey says it has issued legal proceedings against Prospect for opting out of the dispute resolution process, and that it cannot comment further while that process is underway.

"Ports of Jersey introduced a defined contribution occupational retirement scheme for all new joiners in 2020.

"The scheme provides a good quality pension and covers all employees, including those in operational teams such as the Airport Fire Service, Coastguard, Security Officers and Air Traffic Control.  Ports of Jersey contributes 5-10% into each employee’s pension pot.

"The Airport Fire Service submitted a formal collective grievance about these pension arrangements, and we have reached stage three of an agreed four-stage dispute resolution process, which culminates in binding arbitration and a non-impairment of service agreement.

It adds that airport safety and security remain its top priorities and it is taking steps to manage any potential disruption at the airport.

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