Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/373/6113

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 December 2004

UNISON general secretary election

A fighting programme to defend pensions

"YOU'VE GOT five months to save your pension." That's how Roger Bannister, who is standing in the general secretary election campaign in public sector union UNISON, described the threat to council workers' pensions.
Roger is on UNISON's National Executive Council (NEC) and is branch secretary of the Knowsley branch.
He spoke to the socialist about the government's attacks on pensions and how to fight them:

THE GOVERNMENT have announced their intention to make changes from April next year. They will be doing things like abolishing the 85-year rule, which says that if your years in the pension scheme and your age add up to 85 or more, you can retire, at the discretion of the employer.

At the moment the scheme says if redundancies are declared, you can go aged 50 with access to your pension. That's been put up to 55. And at the moment you can go aged 60, with access to your pension. That's been put up to 65.

They're also consulting on another range of changes for the future, like increasing the cost of employees' contributions. So we know that if they get away with this lot it won't stop there, they will come back for more.

Similar changes are being pushed in the NHS and in the teachers' and civil service schemes. But the local government one has been brought forward - they're supposed to be bringing in these changes from April next year. It's a year later for the other schemes.

The unions have done all the lobbying and our members have written to their MPs. The TUC called its lobby of parliament and rally last week. And there's been detailed submissions from the trade unions to the government.

Even some of the employers are opposed to the changes. Knowsley council, for example, have put in a submission which largely agrees with UNISON's position.

They think the pension scheme is a big incentive for recruitment and retention. In councils like Knowsley, people don't exactly queue up to work here, because of the nature of the problems in the place.

All this has been well-organised and efficiently done but it hasn't worked. So we have to think of other methods of fighting now.

Resolution

At UNISON's local government service group conference in June, I moved a resolution on behalf of the branch. It said if the government press ahead unilaterally with their changes, we should ballot the members to take industrial action. That was accepted by the conference. We need to be raising that issue now with our members.

I was impressed that at the TUC rally last week, Mark Serwotka raised the question of a strike across the public sector over pensions, this side of the general election. That would fit with UNISON's policy and it would make for very strong, determined action.

Last week, UNISON's policy committee met and we had a report back from the pensions lobby. I raised the issue of Serwotka's call and said that we need to examine that seriously now.

There will be meetings of the relevant bodies over the next few weeks where I hope UNISON will consider and act on that call.

Service conditions issues in UNISON are correctly dealt with by the different service groups, like local government, health etc and not by the NEC.

But I do think the service conditions groups should make plans on the basis of industrial action to defend pensions across the public sector.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 4 December 2004:

Private hands off public services

Pre-budget statement: Workers will pay for economic failure

NHS not safe in Labour's hands

Blair's election strategy threatens democratic rights

No top-up fees

Fighting fund Christmas appeal


International socialist news and analysis

Ukraine: Neither Yanukovych or Yuschenko

Socialist Party councillor elected in Australia

Iraq election crisis

Committee for a Workers' International: Building the forces of socialism worldwide

Which Revolution?


Socialist Party workplace news

UNISON general secretary election: A fighting programme to defend pensions

Save the Jag! Renationalise Jaguar to save jobs

Brighton teaching assistants fight council attacks

DWP needs more experienced staff, not less


 

Home   |   The Socialist 4 December 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Election:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

triangleGermany: Election results in political earthquake

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleMagic money tree

Pensions:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'

triangleCWU members prepare for industrial action at Royal Mail

Unison:

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleThe fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

triangleUnison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

Council:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

Roger Bannister:

triangleCertification officer confirms that Unison did break the rules in general secretary election

Public sector:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

Council workers:

triangleSurveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

Pension:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2