Monday, October 23, 2006

Lobby MPs to defend the LGPS!

Here is some information about lobbying MPs in relation to the local government pension dispute... (all shamelessly lifted from official UNISON sources)

Lobbying is using your right to meet your MP as one of his or her constituents. You can do this either in your constituency or by visiting Parliament. There will be a mass lobby on Wednesday 22 November 2006 to defend the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). UNISON, TGWU and CYPS want as many members affected as possible to attend. With luck other unions will be coming on board.

An MP should regard you as a constituent, whether you voted for them or not. MP’s are meant to “represent” each constituent’s interests. This does not mean that they have to agree with you – after all each MP has up to 90,000 constituents – but it does mean they should listen and be prepared to pass on your views to the Government.

You should therefore use a meeting with your MP to try to:

Give them the information they need about the LGPS

Influence their views
Persuade them that many other constituents share your concerns
Ask them to pass on your concerns to the Government, and
Ask them to take appropriate action (some are suggested below) to show that they support you

If you are disabled, please telephone the Serjeant-at-Arms’ office at the House of Commons, who will advise you of procedures for entering the building. (Phone 0207 219 3000 and ask the switchboard to put you through to the Serjeant’s office). The Serjeant’s office do allow some parking where it is required by disabled people, but individuals will need to verify this with the office. It is usual for one of your MPs’ staff to accompany you once you enter the building. You will need to arrange this with your MP in advance. Please notify UNISON (via your branch) if you have any special ambulatory needs or require any assistance.

Courtesy of UNISON here is the text for a letter to send your MP in order to arrange to meet them during the lobby of Parliament on 22 November to defend LGPS. Apologies to those not in the LGPS for this post, but this is pretty important to the very many of us who are! (If you don’t know who your local MP is then click here)

“Your MP
House of Commons

Dear MP

Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS): Mass Lobby of Parliament – 22 November 2006

I will be attending the LGPS Mass Lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 22 November. I would very much like to meet you on that day to discuss the concerns of LGPS members who live and work in your constituency about the proposals for the future of the LGPS and protection of existing members.

I do understand that it can be hard to make firm appointments on days when a large number of people are seeking to lobby their MP, so the organisers of the LGPS lobby are doing what they can to provide different ways for MPs and constituents to link up :

The lobby is using Methodist Central Hall – Lecture Hall as its base for the day. A room will be available there for lobbyists to meet MPs or…

· You may wish to make an alternative arrangement to meet me in one of the Parliamentary outbuildings

I would be grateful if you could let me know if you are available on 22 November and suggest a good way of making sure we can meet.

I and my union are very concerned about the response by the Local Government Employers and the Local Government Association to the DCLG options for “new look” LGPS from 2008. They want us to pay more for a worse pension scheme, with less protection than other public sector workers.

I look forward to your reply and to meeting you.

Yours etc.”

Send this letter on or before 10 November (now is good!) and then tell your UNISON branch that you have done so and want to go on the lobby on 22 November.

When you do meet your MP;

Ask your MP to:

· Raise your concerns with DCLG and Treasury ministers by meeting them and by writing to them

· Speak to LGA members, LGPS employers and councillors who run LGPS funds in their constituency
· Arrange meetings with LGPS members in their constituency through UNISON to carry on the discussion


Anonymous said...

Jon if pensions don't get sorted out, are UNISON likely to disaffiliate?

Anonymous said...

Lets hope the govnt get themselves sorted then. Good luck.