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Union leaders back the agreement in councils


The Unison and GMB unions have signed up to a “heads of agreement” in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

Unions have argued that the LGPS should be dealt with separately from others as it is a funded pension scheme.

Funded schemes save the money collected from members, while money in unfunded schemes goes to the Treasury. In these, the government has been able to grab higher contributions.

The main concession for LGPS members is that low-paid workers could be exempt from contribution rises and there would be no rises until 2014.

But all will lose out from the shift from RPI to CPI rate of inflation. And all will still have to work longer to get less.

Unison’s service group executive will meet to discuss the proposals on Tuesday of next week. The Unite sector committee will also discuss the deal.


Government plan to rob health service workers

The “heads of agreement” includes a few concessions in health.

Those closest to retirement could keep their existing pensions. The lowest paid could wait a year before starting to increase their contributions.

The rise in retirement age will be under review for some staff.

But the principles of “pay more, work longer, get less” still apply.

Sixteen health unions will consult with their executives on how to respond. Unison’s health service group executive is set to meet on Tuesday of next week. And Unite’s National Industrial Sector Committee was set to meet this Thursday.

Members of Unite’s executive council have gathered enough signatures to call an urgent meeting on the pensions dispute.


Education unions refuse to sign up for attacks

Most education unions have not signed up to the government’s “heads of agreement”.

The NUT, UCU, NASUWT and UCAC have reserved their position. All unions have members in the Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS).

The Scottish teachers’ EIS union hasn’t signed the agreement either.

But the ATL union called the government’s proposals a “significant improvement”. It says it will “consult” members before the executive decides whether to accept them. The NAHT headteachers’ union will also consult its members.

The government remains determined to force TPS members to pay more, work longer and get less.

And it says it will impose increased pension contributions on them in April—with or without an agreement with unions.


Lots of money for pensions

The Tories claim there’s no money for public sector pensions.

They are lying.

The NUT union examined the money flowing in and out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme since it was set up in 1923, adjusting the figures in line with GDP growth.

It found that teachers have paid the equivalent of £46 billion more into the fund than it has paid out.

And the government’s Hutton report showed that the sums paid out of public sector pensions are set to fall.

The Tories want to raid pensions to cut the budget deficit—which was created by bailing out banks.


Article information

News
Tue 3 Jan 2012, 18:15 GMT
Issue No. 2284
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