Socialist Worker

Local government: vote NO in unions' pension ballot

Issue No. 2316

The ballots over the local government pension scheme (LGPS) close this week and next in the Unison, GMB and Unite unions. Workers should vote to reject it.

The deal is bad in a number of important ways, including the shift to a worse pension scheme based on “career average” earnings. Worst of all, it concedes the government’s plan to raise the pension age to 68.

Unison’s online ballot paper says that rejecting this would mean “further industrial action, which is likely to be all-out strike action for a sustained period of time”.

However so far the union has only taken one day of action—the millions-strong 30 November strike. That was enough to win some concessions but more strikes could have won much more.

The union would not be fighting alone. It looks likely that the teachers’ unions, together with the civil service workers’ PCS and lecturers’ UCU will hold another round of strikes in the autumn.

The firefighters’ union FBU, which has fire control members in the LGPS, is recommending rejection of the LGPS deal because of the pension age.

Unison’s higher education service group executive voted to recommend rejection. Members in the NHS rejected the deal. Unison’s bureaucracy is pushing for acceptance but a vote to reject will show that the will to fight is still there.

The GMB’s ballot ends this Friday. Unison’s and Unite’s close next Friday.

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Tue 14 Aug 2012, 17:44 BST
Issue No. 2316
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