Socialist Worker

Local government

Issue No. 1998

Agitation continues against the union leaders’ decision to call off the strikes in defence of the local government pension scheme.

Some 1.5 million workers would have been on strike this week and next week if the action had not been halted. Activists are urging branches to pass emergency motions modelled on the one below:

This (branch/stewards committee/meeting) expresses our shock and anger at the decision by the Local Government Service Group Executive to suspend our industrial action on pensions on the basis of the “Joint Statement from unions and employers on further talks over the future of the local government pension scheme”.

The joint strike action was the biggest and most solid ever seen in local government.

The joint statement accepts the abolition of the rule of 85.

This explicitly breaks policy agreed at 2005 Unison conference which states:

 “Conference categorically rejects any suggestion of ‘compromise agreements’ on this matter and conference agrees that its opposition to increasing to 65 the age of entitlement to an unreduced pension is not negotiable” and that “no major changes to the pension scheme are agreed to by Unison unless there has been prior approval by a ballot of all Unison members eligible to the scheme.”

We resolve:

  • To instruct our negotiators to produce regular updates on negotiations, in a format that is readily available to all members.
  • To demand that any offer goes to a recalled Local Government Service Group conference and a ballot of the affected members.
  • To call on the Labour Link not to reinstate support for Labour until the dispute is resolved to the satisfaction of our members.
  • To encourage regions and branches to maintain joint local strike committees to prepare for further industrial action in the event that a satisfactory offer does not emerge from talks.

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Article information

Sat 29 Apr 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1998
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