After strong representation and putting the matter into dispute, Mike Hall has advised the Union he will restore, long term, the status quo in regard to the paying of Gratuities on leaving the Fire Service.
This is not simply a return to the status quo while the dispute is heard - Mike Hall’s reversal of position means that the Union has won the dispute.
Quite why the decision to interpret retirement from the Fire Service as meaning retirement from the work force, remains a mystery.
Any simple check of past custom and practice and also of the practice in other parts of the State Services would have quickly demonstrated that the previous Fire Service practice was absolutely standard.
One pleasing feature that came out of this dispute was the close communication and sharing of information with the Deputy and Chief Fire Officers Society. Both organizations worked together to achieve a common goal.
The Union still remains concerned at the complete lack of consultation with the Union. Clearly, if consultation had occurred, it is not likely the original incorrect and misguided decision would have been made.
The Union will continue to pursue this consultation issue.