By Ed Whitby, Newcastle City Council Unison
THE following motion, opposing both the raising of the local government retirement age for a full pension to 65 and the creation of a two-tier workforce with different pension rights, was passed unanimously by Newcastle City Council Unison at the start of November. The branch agreed to send the motion to the union’s regional and national local government service groups and to circulate it around as many other local government branches as possible.
A similar motion was passed by Islington Council Unison to be sent to the London local government service group.
Oppose a two tier pension scheme!
This branch notes the TUC-backed two-tier deal for health workers, civil servants and teachers which divides new workers from those already in the pension scheme and local government workers from other public sector workers.
We also note the national policy agreed at conference this year and supported by our branch including:
• that the withdrawal of the Government’s original pension proposals “only occurred” because of ballot and threat of action by seven unions
• opposition to increase to 65 is not negotiable
• pensions are deferred pay and should be subject to negotiations in the same way.
We call for unity across the public sector (including local government and fire service workers).
We should oppose a two-tier deal in local government which divides workers (either new from existing workers, or on the basis of years until retirement). As with pay or other terms of conditions, when we are voting for proposals we are not just voting for ourselves, but on behalf of future generations of public sector workers.