Whatever its political merits the General Election is an unwelcome interruption to our campaign to get the Government to accept that a NRA of 67/68 is an unreasonable and unrealistic proposition for our members.
Despite our best efforts the Energy Minister Jesse Norman MP has so far preferred to reserve his position by continue "to review all evidence submitted by (us) and the CNC before taking a decision as to whether to seek a change in Government policy on pension age for CNC officers."
By contrast, the GMB and other unions representing workers in the nuclear industry were very recently able to reach heads of agreement with Mr Norman which ditched government proposals for changes to their existing retirement age provisions. Doubtless the threat of the first ever national strike in the nuclear energy was a persuasive consideration for the Minister. The fact that our officers, both in protecting the nation's civil nuclear assets and the wider public in the event of a random terrorist attack, are prepared to put themselves in harm's way obviously carries less weight.
Post election we will be intensifying our efforts for a meeting with Mr Norman who has now asked his officials to prepare their own equality analysis to establish the impact of an increased pension age (a detailed exercise was submitted by CNC to the Department in February). It may be that after the election we will be meeting a new Minister. If so, engaging with a fifth Minister since this specific campaign started will not deter us from vigorously pursuing the irrefutable case for aligning our pension age with the rest of the UK police service.
There is plenty of detailed information on this website but the argument can be summarised in three fairly concise points.
1. CNC officers have next to no hope of serving until 67/68. The rest of the UK police service can
retire at 60. We work twelve hour shifts carrying three weapon systems and wearing 30kilos of
body armour and respiratory gear.
2. If we fail our fitness and weaponry tests we face career termination. Armed police officers in the rest of the UK can ask to be redeployed to an unarmed role without career penalty.
3. We not only protect the nation's civil nuclear assets but because of our special skills we are part of the national anti-terrorist units defending the general public against random attack. The public would be shocked to see officers in the mid to late sixties carrying sophisticated semi automatic weaponry.
NIgel Dennis and Mark Nelson