Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/726/14854
Vote no to the local government pension offer
Socialist Party members in Unison
Unison's local government leadership has instructed branches to consult members over what recommendation should be made on pensions. We believe the leadership should ballot the members now, recommending rejection.
We say, vote 'No' in the consultation and vote 'No' in the ballot because:
Most people will still work longer. For those under the age of 55 the normal retirement age will rise in line with the new state pension age.
Most will still get less because pensions will only be uprated with the lower CPI inflation rate rather than RPI.
Also the final salary scheme is to be replaced with a career average scheme. In 2006 we fought to keep this and opposed the career average scheme. Most workers earn more in their last years of work.
Many will pay more. They say only workers earning over £43,000 will see a contributions increase. But some earning under £20,000 will pay more.
Also we've being paying more for the last four years and had no pay rise for three of those.
Part time staff will now pay contributions based on actual earnings, not the full time equivalent. This is an improvement.
Staff transferring to the private sector can remain in the scheme from April 2014. This is better but it's not clear who will pay for this, councils or the companies.
Save now - lose later. There will now be a 50/50 option. Effectively you can pay half the monthly contribution rate and get half the benefits.
Vote now - pay more later. The future costs of the scheme are yet to be resolved. This is a recipe for "vote now, pay more later".
The local government scheme is not in financial difficulty. But the government is trying to rob us! Last November's strike had a real impact in stopping the government from raising contributions for the majority of members. The strike worked.
If we want to avoid having to work until we're 68, or even 70, on a reduced pension, then we need to take action with other unions again. It worked last November, and it can work again!
The ballot starts on 31 July and ends on 24 August.
In The Socialist 11 July 2012:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party editorial
Youth Fight for Jobs and Education feature
Workplace news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reviews and comments
Socialist Party news and campaigns