Anger at choice of partners
Many pensioners were dismayed to find that the People’s Pension Coalition, launched recently by the TUC, has excluded the National Pensioners Convention (NPC).
A TUC report last month attacked the “work till you drop” policies favoured by ministers and employers. But it accepted the government’s claim that that there is a problem with the pensions system and that there must be changes — to our detriment.
At last year’s TUC congress composite resolution seven instructed the TUC to support the work of the NPC.
It urged the general council to publicise NPC campaigns, rallies and other activities.
But the NPC wasn’t invited to be part of the People’s Pensions Coalition. Instead, it included the consumer organisation Which? and the Age Concern and Help the Aged charities.
The NPC has championed policies such as restoring the link between pensions and the rise in earnings. This is where the TUC should be going, not backing private pension schemes and other attacks.
Serwotka: ‘we must be united’
About 50 people attended a public meeting organised by Manchester Trades Council on Thursday of last week to discuss how to resist the attack on public sector pension rights and to campaign for a decent state pension for all.
They heard from PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka, Alan Manning, secretary of the North West TUC, and Ray Short from the Unison union’s North West region.
There were a number of speakers from the floor — including from members of Unison, PCS and Amicus — who echoed Mark Serwotka’s call for the unions not to fall for divide and rule tactics from the government.
“Nobody should settle without talking to colleagues in other unions,” he said. He called for a strike ballot across the unions if there is no acceptable outcome to negotiations.
Ray Short referred to the mandate from Unison’s conference for an industrial action ballot if the government delayed on its promise to revoke detrimental pensions regulations.
Tony Wilson, branch secretary GMPTE Unison (pc)