Socialist Worker

Local government pensions: Don't argue with ministers, fight back

Issue No. 2262

The Unison union seems to believe it has found a way to make “savings” from the local government pension scheme—without asking workers to pay more.

Since the union began “scheme-specific” talks last week, the government has agreed to give the local government scheme autonomy to come up with its own “reforms”.

The union will now write a plan together with the bosses to take to the Treasury. It is floating ideas like “fund merger”—saying £1 billion can be found, as if by magic, by merging the 101 existing pension funds into 14.

But there is problem with this. This plan doesn’t contest the government’s cuts. Workers will still lose money from their pensions.

Instead it helps the bosses look at the most effective way to drive the cuts through.

Fiddling around the edges is no way to deal with the Tories’ assault on our pensions.

We need to tackle it head on. This means the biggest unions—Unison, Unite and the GMB—joining those who are already fighting.

The government is ready for the next round of the fight. We need to unite in the face of this kind of attack.

Unions like Unison have a huge role to play in uniting workers in resistance.

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Tue 26 Jul 2011, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2262
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