Dave Prentis - any more serious about fighting the pay freeze than about pensions....?
Unison members are being asked to vote by postal ballot on proposals for a new Local Govt. Pension Scheme from 1 April 2014.
The proposals would mean
♦ Increased Retirement Age to 68
♦ Ending Final Salary Scheme
♦ Paying in longer for less benefits
Whilst there is some protection for those within 10 years of reaching 65 in April 2012 years the proposals would mean an increased retirement age of 66 for those aged between 53 and 56 now, of up to 67 for those currently aged between 36 and 53, and of 68 and above for the under 36s.
The success of the joint strike action on 30 November has forced the government to make some concessions for the fully funded LGPS. Contributions will not go up for most scheme members with steep increases for those earning above £43,000 (where the higher rate of tax relief applies.) Contributions would be based on actual rather than notional Full Time Equivalent pay, and would include overtime and additional hours.
The new scheme scraps our Final Salary Scheme replacing it with a Career Average (CARE). As almost everybody earns more at the end of their working lives this will be worse for many people. Even if you are in the same job all your life your pay rises through incremental progression or regrading. The CARE scheme is based on actual earnings per year and so delivers less in the years you earn less for any reason.
The new scheme is also based on pensions only being uprated by CPI instead of RPI. This cut the value of our pensions by 15% at a stroke
The ballot is taking place between 31 July and 24 August.
Brighton and Hove Branch Executive and workplace meetings weighed up the proposals against our objectives of resisting government plans to make us work longer, pay more and get less and unanimously agreed to campaign for a recommendation to Vote NO.
The Unison bureaucracy has been furiously flinging its weight around trying to bully branches to campaign for what they claim is a "policy" to accept the deal - even though they spurned the opportunity to put a recommendation to our main policy making body - Conference - only a few weeks ago.
Members are likely to regard the proposals with little enthusiasm, however much they are talked up by the national negotiators. But the key question is how big a vote we can expect. The ballot is being held at the height of the summer holidays, when thousands of Unison's term-time workers will not be at work.
It is vital that Unison members reconnect with the other workers still fighting on pensions.
VOTE NO. AND MAKE SURE YOUR WORKMATES DO TOO
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