Saturday, May 19, 2012

68 is too late but 31 May might be too early?

I don't know whether or not our National Head of Local Government meant it when she told the UNISON National Joint Council Committee that, if the Government hadn't approved the 13 February proposals on the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) by close of play yesterday the issue would come off the agenda for the 31 May meeting of the Local Government Service Group Executive (SGE), but I'm told that's what was said.



Certainly all is quiet over at the LGPS website (http://www.lgps.org.uk/lge/core/page.do?pageId=15431012) where the only update since March has been a brief comment on the Queen's Speech.



In the mean time there is still a fight to defend our pensions - and everyone can support the "68 is too late" campaign in order to resist the drive to increase the normal retirement age for ever into the future (http://www.68istoolate.org.uk/).



The pensions dispute is now slow burning and will continue for months if not years. In the run up to our Conferences in a few weeks time UNISON members and branches should support the "68 is too late" campaign, which is clearly in line with the policy agreed at UNISON National Delegate Conference 2011 (http://cms.unison.co.uk/MotionText.asp?DocumentID=1002411) which expressed "our opposition to the final recommendations of the Hutton report which include ending final salary schemes in the public sector, massive increases in contributions for employees and raising normal retirement age in line with state retirement age to 66 in 2020 and then to 67 and 68. Hutton wants us to pay more, work longer, and receive less in pension benefits."



Of course, it may be that we'll all be 68 (or older) before we know whether the Government has approved the secret deal on the LGPS put to them on 13 February...

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