Socialist Worker

Time for more strikes over pensions 'rule of 85' after defeat in court

Issue No. 2021

The Unison union’s judicial review against the government’s plans to axe the “rule of 85” in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) has been refused.

“Unfortunately we lost the case,” said Heather Wakefield, Unison’s head of local government.

“While this is very disappointing, we do not intend to let it knock us off track in our campaign for a fair deal for LGPS members.?“The facts remain that these are low-paid members who do not deserve to have their pension entitlements cut.”

In his ruling, Judge Andrew Nichol agreed with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that the consultation process was not flawed.

He ruled that even if they DCLG had wrongly interpreted the European Directive on age discrimination to mean that they could not protect low-paid women workers in this instance, they would still have made the same decision based on cost.

In truth many Unison members always thought the judicial review was a diversion from building for effective action, and that it was not going to win.

There are now strong calls to get back to organising industrial action after the strategy of going through the courts has been blown apart by the judiciary.

The latest developments show the importance of backing the call for a recall conference to discuss the pensions fight.

Kirklees Unison branch has written to every Unison branch in local government to ask if they will support the following motion:

“We request a special local government service group conference to discuss the current situation in the local government pensions dispute, under rule D.3.4.11.”

The national executive of Unison was to discuss a recall conference at a meeting this week.

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Sat 7 Oct 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2021
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