During the last month the Defence Police Federation has continued to negotiate with the Ministry of Defence on the subjects of officers’ pensions and their terms and conditions of service.
We have also continued to engage with both parliamentarians and the media to highlight the Federation’s concerns on these issues, and also to maintain awareness of the MDP’s importance ahead of the Defence Review in 2015. The need for this engagement has been underlined by a series of stories and financial analyses during the last month that have suggested that tight public spending will have to continue for longer than expected – with a number of the government departments, including the MoD, likely to be expected to make savings either before or after the general election in May.
Defence news during the past month has been dominated by the commemoration of the Armistice, 100 years after the First World War began. The UK has also continued operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, while the Intelligence Select Committee published its report on the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.
The political approach
In the last month, the Federation has met with Alan Reid MP and organised meetings with the Labour shadow defence team, Sir Bob Russell MP, Katy Clark MP and Caroline Dinenage MP. The purpose of these meetings is to continue to make the case in Parliament for revised pension arrangements for MDP officers, to encourage speedy resolution by the MoD and to ensure strong parliamentary support for the MDP ahead of next year’s Defence Review.
Alan Reid MP very kindly tabled a question during Defence Questions in the House of Commons in order to determine the MoD’s progress in addressing the pensions issue. A question was separately tabled by Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP on the pensions issue. The Minister, Anna Soubry MP, confirmed the MoD was in negotiations with both the DPF and Defence Fire and Rescue – additionally noting that the DPF has proposed a solution. We have, however, written to parliamentary supporters and the Minister to ensure there is absolute clarity as to the compromise we have proposed.
We have additionally requested an urgent meeting with the Minister to discuss our proposals and to progress the negotiations.
The Federation has also continued to engage with the MoD on the subject of TACOS. As some members may be aware, the MoD set out some initial thoughts on a TACOS settlement that the Federation considered to be unacceptable. These are now being reviewed and redrafted by the MoD, and we anticipate receipt of a further offer shortly.
We have met with the defence correspondents from both the Sunday Times and Daily Mail in the past month, and are continuing to arrange briefings with national journalists to promote the importance of the MDP and to secure media attention for issues including pensions and the risks to security posed by further cuts to the MDP.
We hope to shortly confirm a meeting with the defence correspondent at the Daily Mirror.
We will also shortly be submitting a comment article to Police Oracle on the subject of pensions.
Local engagement of members
We would be very grateful if members could let us know of any local community engagement they might be engaged in as part of their work, along with any out-of-hours community/charity work they would like support in highlighting to their local media.
Our aim with this initiative is to generate local media attention that underlines the importance of officers to their local communities and to promote outstanding initiatives.
If you have a community engagement programme or charity work you would like promoting to your local media, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should any members with to contact their local MP on any issue, we must remind you that any correspondence is subject to MDP regulations. If you require any guidance, please contact email@example.com.