Presentation on theme: "Want to work till you drop? Chris Wood Pensions Champion."— Presentation transcript:
Want to work till you drop? Chris Wood Pensions Champion
Introduction What is happening to public service pensions? What is UNISON doing about it? What can UNISON members do about it?
What is happening Changes affect: Local Government Pension Scheme NHS Pension Scheme Civil Service Pension Scheme Affects staff eligible to join one of these schemes but currently opted out. UNISON encourages members to join the pension schemes
More changes since 2008 reforms It’s important to realise that the changes being proposed come on top of changes that UNISON negotiated under the previous Labour government. They mean Pay more Work longer Get less
Pay how much more? Increased contributions phased in over next three years, only workers on less than £15,000 exempt. Staff on about £35,000 pay about £1,000 year more after three years. See UNISON ready reckoner for specific increases http://www.unison.org.uk/pensions/reckon er.asp
Work longer, Get less Retirement age increased to state pension age, 68 for anyone now under 33. No details yet, but move to career average could be used to cut pension earned per year of contribution by as much as 25% RPI to CPI change reduces value of pension over time, average 15% reduction in benefits.
Will extra contributions go to pensions? No. The extra contributions are to go to pay for the debts created by the banking crisis and pave the way for tax cuts for the better off. The abolition of the 50p rate on incomes over £150,000 per year is George Osborne’s priority.
Local Govt Scheme 2008 reforms cut costs to employers by billions. Government wants additional £900million per year “saved”. Could lead to more opt outs undermining the stability of the scheme – UNISON does not advise members to opt out.
NHS Pension Scheme 2008 reforms still being implemented following negotiations to make scheme secure and affordable. Members of pre 2008 scheme given option to join reformed scheme or stay in old scheme. New proposals over ride this exercise.
Privatisation Anyone transferred to a private or third sector employer could be even worse off. At the moment workers covered by the “Fair Deal on Pensions”, where the public sector pension can be retained or an equivalent offered. Government is looking at removing this protection.
What is UNISON doing? Changes are unnecessary and unfair. Unnecessary: decent public sector pensions are affordable and sustainable. Cutting them will make more people rely on state benefits. Unfair: public sector already hit by pay freeze and redundancies. Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, says “enough is enough”.
UNISON is fighting Submitting detailed evidence demolishing claims that public sector pensions are “gold plated”, some concessions made to lowest paid. Taking legal action on RPI to CPI switch, application for judicial review will be heard in October. Media campaign to rebut the myths and on why proposals are unfair.
Negotiations UNISON has been leading negotiations with Government and employers in good faith. No movement from Government. Now balloting for industrial action, leading off with a one day strike on 30 November. Industrial action is a last resort. A YES vote will strengthen our negotiating arm.
What can we all do? The ballot will be critical in determining if we are to be taken seriously. Talk to co-workers, encourage them to join a union, encourage members to vote. Get involved as pensions champions or contacts. This is a dispute with Ministers, not with CQC or other employers. Many unions doing the same, we are not alone.
30 November If there is a YES vote: Day of action across public services, co- ordinated by the TUC. Write to MPs, councillors, local press. Information, advice, updates, jargon- busters, and campaign materials can be found online: http://www.unison.org.uk/pensions/protectou r.asp