Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I've got a golden pension!

For those waiting for the next “bash the public sector worker” story intended to fill newsprint in the silly season whilst softening us up for the coming Tory offensive – today’s Times was a particular treat.

It turns out that that as a local government worker I have a “golden pension” - it almost makes me want to sing! - (though since I seem to recall that the average local government pensioner draws an annual pension around £4,000 I guess it’s only a very little bit of gold!) (Check this link to bust the myths around our pension scheme).

The Times also reports that somebody called John Denham who once left the Government with principles but has now rejoined is about to make some proposals to change the Local Government Pension Scheme.

I understand that civil servants are adamant that this story did not come from them and was not at all the beginning of an attempt to soften up the trade unions to accept some shabby compromise to defend bits of our pension.

So presumably this comes from (allegedly Labour) politicians who want to show that they can rein in public expenditure just like the Tories.

There are any number of words which I could use to describe such politicians – but this is a family blog and I would not want to shock regular readers Sid and Doris Blogger (nor their loyal follower) so I shall just describe whoever gave the Times this story as a


There is more political support to be lost than won in an attack upon public sector pensions. Since no one believes that there will be a Labour Government in office when the attack upon our pensions comes the preparatory work being done by (New) Labour ministers does seem to be as futile and counterproductive as it is misconceived.

Now that the contours of the coming attack upon public sector workers become clearer we must circle the wagons and prepare to fight back. Any politicians who want labour movement support should be on the inside of the circle shooting out!

It’s a good job that UNISON Conference policy on defending pensions has made it on to the TUC agenda. We need labour movement unity to defend all pension provisions in both the public and private sectors.

We also need to develop a coordinated response including public-sector wide industrial action. The TUC is an opportunity for the formal and informal discussion which now needs to take place.


Anonymous said...

I have a golden pension too. Its almost free, of course - well, free for 6.5% of my pay. But why spoil this with the facts?!

When I myself joined the gold-plated town hall workers pension scheme (no, I've never even worked in a towm hall, but why let the facts spoil it?!) I was able to retire at 60. Now I have to work another 5 years to get the same benefits.

We have to fight back - we're not on fat cat pay or getting big city bonuses. Its taken me 20 years to reach the heady heights of £23k pa. Now I don't claim that to be poverty pay - but big money it ain't!


Anonymous said...

Gold plate - depends upon the type of plate, 9-22carat and the depth of plating -microns or cms? And gold plating was always intended to make something look better than it really was.Doubt that any of us in UNISON have a solid gold pension.