In the last few hours Scottish government has informed the Fire Brigades Union that it will further improve its pension proposals allowing firefighters to retire from age 55 with a much more acceptable pension reduction.
Firefighters in Scotland are not involved in strike action this weekend due to an earlier improved proposal that had already guaranteed firefighters would not be sacked for simply getting older as is the threat in England.
Scottish firefighters have also previously been offered more protection than their colleagues in England and this latest move significantly improves on the flexible retirement proposals.
The Welsh government are considering a similar option for early retirement options following extensive discussions with the FBU and now the Scottish government have formally tabled this improvement.
Although this proposal is within the rigid cost restrictions set by the Treasury, Penny Mordaunt, the Westminster fire minister, confirmed last week that they will not be making the same offer.
This will mean firefighters in England who have to retire early will face a reduction in their pension of more than double that of Scottish firefighters despite paying the same amount in contributions.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: â€œWhile we welcome the further movement in Scotland we are also astounded that ministers in England would rather see firefighters on strike than negotiate properly with us. Look at what can be achieved when both sides want an end to this dispute.
â€œEverything we have agreed in Scotland is within the cost restrictions imposed by Westminster but even then they have simply said no.
â€œWe are accused of being irresponsible but we cannot make a deal with a government that just doesnâ€™t want to negotiate.â€
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