Socialist Worker

Unison and Unite accept local government pensions deal

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2317

Workers in the Unison and Unite unions have voted to accept a deal over their local government pension scheme (LGPS).

In Unite they voted to accept the changes by 84 percent. In Unison 90 percent voted to accept. Both unions had recommended acceptance to their members.

“The national leadership pushed hard for this result,” said David Hughes, who is on Unison’s local government executive, speaking in a personal capacity.

“They put out lots of information saying how good the offer was. They even tried to ban branches campaigning for rejection. They created a climate of acceptance.”

The deal was the result of negotiations after the one-day public sector strike on 30 November last year.

The deal ties local government workers’ retirement age to the state pension age, currently 68 and likely to rise. The main concession the Tories made is that most workers’ pension contributions will not rise.

“I don’t think accepting it reflects a lack of confidence to challenge the government,” added David. “It’s more a lack of confidence in our leadership to win more.”

Members of construction union Ucatt also backed the deal earlier this week by 79 percent. However fire control workers in the FBU union voted by 90 percent to reject the deal. The union said the proposals remain “unworkable”.

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Fri 24 Aug 2012, 17:29 BST
Issue No. 2317
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