Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sunshine, ponds and pensions

The Sussex village of Falmer ( is bisected by the busy A27 which means that, when sat in the sun, admiring the lovely village pond, you can hear but (not see) the traffic passing back and forth between Brighton and Lewes.

All of which is (as regular readers Sid and Doris Superannuation-Scheme will immediately appreciate) a metaphor for the state of play in relation to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

We keep hearing that there has been progress and that our negotiators (and those representing our employers) have been doing a fabulous job to protect our pensions. But for all that we can hear this constant hum, we can see nothing, no accrual rate, no revaluation rate and no contribution rate.

I understand that the GMB yesterday cancelled a briefing for want of formal confirmation of the Government's response to the proposals put to them on 13 February (about which we mere members of the LGPS are permitted to know nothing).

When watching the sunlight fall on the placid waters of Falmer's village pond it is almost possible to put the noise of the traffic out of your mind and imagine yourself in an undisturbed idyll. However, for all that we can see nothing that is happening about our pension scheme six months after we took strike action to protect it, we would be most unwise, even in this beautiful sunshine, to relax our vigilance.

Before the close of our Local Government Conference - now just three weeks away - we must have been told what has been going on - and delegates must be permitted to instruct the Service Group Executive as to how it conducts itself in relation to our pensions.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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