Socialist Party
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18 July 2019

Tories prepare to attack education workers' pensions

The government has issued a consultation document on proposed changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), most of which are of little impact on workers, but one proposal is to remove the current legal obligation for "post 1992 universities" (formerly polytechnics), sixth form colleges and further education colleges to offer new non-teaching staff access to the LGPS.

This move would introduce a two tier workforce on this important condition of service, and presuming that a cheaper - for the employers - pension would be offered, would add to the growing problem of pensioner poverty.

The proposals only apply to institutions in England, thereby creating anomalies between England, and Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Unison opposes these measures, and is urging branches to lobby employers to reject the proposed changes. The consultation ends on 31 July.

But if the government presses ahead with these plans, Unison should organise industrial action, in conjunction with Unite and GMB, not just of college members, but across local government, pointing out that this move would significantly reduce income flow into the Fund, threatening its viability for all members, in or out of education.

Roger Bannister