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Nuclear police lose High Court pension challenge

CNC officer at Sellafield Credit: ITV Border

A specialist police force who protect the UK's nuclear sites including Sellafield have lost their High Court challenge over a new pension scheme which could make them work until they are 65.

The Civil Nuclear Police Federation (CNPF), which has 1,250 members, said that the change, due in April, would leave the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) "out of step" with the vast majority of other officers.

At a hearing last week, which was contested by the Civil Nuclear Police Authority (CNPA), it asked for a declaration that the CNC were "members of a police force" for the purposes of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and their pension age must be 60 like most other officers.

But, in London today, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies dismissed the claim.

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Civic Nuclear Constabulary respond to court ruling

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary has given their statement regarding the High Court ruling, where the Civil Nuclear Police Federation is seeking for the retirement age for its officers to be set at 60.

"The Civil Nuclear Police Federation (CNPF) has brought a Judicial Review into whether the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) is a police force as defined under the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.

“The Judicial Review will rule on this very specific point of statutory interpretation in relation to the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and this ruling will provide clarity on the situation, allowing us to continue to develop new pension arrangements for CNC officers in accordance with the Public Service Pensions Act 2013, working closely with relevant government departments and the CNPF."

– Statement, Civil Nuclear Constabulary

Nuclear police ask for retirement age of 60

Sellafield Credit: ITV Border

The Civil Nuclear Police Federation are in the High Court seeking a ruling for its members to retire at the normal police retirement age of 60.

The Federation say that working past the age of 60 would be "almost physically impossible".

Representing 1250 police officers, many who work at Sellafield, the Federation is asking the High Court to determine whether or not its members are "members of a police service", and therefore entitled to the same retirement age as the rest of the UK Police service.

If refused, officers could serve until 65 and eventually to 68 in line with Government policy for public service employees.

"As yet we have been unable to get a decision from Government to accept our professionally supported argument that it is almost physically impossible for a CNC officer to serve beyond 60. What seems not to be understood is that our members are fully trained authorised firearms officers. The high standards of physical fitness and weapon proficiency are mandatory throughout a career in the CNC and are increasingly difficult to maintain as officers age.

"It makes no sense that we should be saddled through inappropriate legislation with a retirement age which we have little or no hope of reaching. Neither can I believe that the public will feel protected if eventually we have aggressively armed police officers in their mid-sixties being deployed against terrorists."

– Nigel Dennis, Chief Executive, Civil Nuclear Police Federation

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University campaigners slam 'derisory' offer

The picket outside the University of Cumbria. Credit: ITV Border

University staff in Cumbria and the South of Scotland have begun a two-day strike, in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Members of the University and College Union are walking out across the UK today and tomorrow.

Universities say they're making every effort to minimise the impact on students.

The union has dismissed a pay offer of just over one percent, branding it "insulting".

We've been offered a derisory 1.1 percent pay rise, whereas nationally, university vice-chancellors have got 6.1 percent in the last year.

Over the last six years, we are now 14.5 percent worse off in real terms than we were, and it's time to address the balance.

We want the university managers to insist that the national negotiators go back to the table and make a realistic offer.

– Ashley Tiffen, Branch Chair UCU University of Cumbria

University staff strike in Cumbria and Scotland

University staff are striking. Credit: PA

University staff based in Cumbria and the south of Scotland are striking over pay and conditions.

Members of the University and College Union will walk out today at the University of Cumbria, and the University of Glasgow's Crichton Campus in Dumfries.

They say since 2009 the value of their pay has decreased in real terms by 14.5 percent, and that male staff earn significantly more than female staff.

They also argue more than 75,000 staff are on 'casualised' contracts, and more than 21,000 on zero hours contracts.

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