LGPS NEGOTIATIONS – MOVING FORWARD IN A POSITIVE DIRECTION
After two further days of negotiations this week and more talks next week, we are moving closer to finalising the proposals for the new LGPS from 2014. Although it will not be possible to say what the final proposals are until all elements of the package are in place or say exactly when the negotiations will be completed, we are moving in a positive direction. UNISON negotiators, alongside GMB and Unite, have been working hard to get the best possible deal for LGPS members – and potential members. We know how important your pension is in these times of pay freezes and redundancies – not to mention increases in the State Pension Age. We want the LGPS to remain a quality scheme that all employees want to join.
SO WHEN MIGHT YOU GET THE PROPOSALS?
We still have some work to do on aspects of the new scheme and have to get the final proposals costed by the Government Actuaries Department (GAD). We are working hard to get this phase completed as quickly as possible, but it may not be finished for a week or two. We need to ensure that we get every detail absolutely right. We will also be having an equality impact assessment carried out on the final proposals. The final package will then have to be ‘signed off’ by Ministers at the Treasury and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Once that is done, we will make the proposals known as quickly as possible to members, pension contacts and champions, branches and Regions. Materials explaining the proposals will be posted on the Pensions, Local Government, Police and Justice, Community, Higher Education and Water, Energy and Transport Service Group pages of the UNISON web site. Written materials will be distributed as soon as possible, along with a special recruitment leaflet. We hope that non-members will want to join us when they see what UNISON has done to protect their pension.
As well as the written word, there will be briefings within Regions for activists and members. We want as many members as possible to know what is in the package before they vote for it. The Local Government Association will be consulting its members at the same time, as will the other LGPS trade unions.
SERVICE GROUPS TO MAKE THEIR RECOMMENDATION
The five UNISON Service Group Executives will each meet to decide on their recommendation to members over the final proposals once the ministers have signed them off. Once this happens, the ballot paper will be issued to every member within the scope of the five Service Groups. We will want to get the views of as many members as possible across occupations and pay bands.
RECRUIT AND ORGANISE!
The ballot will provide a very important opportunity to talk to members and non-members alike and let them know that UNISON has been working hard on their behalf. Make sure that you order the special LGPS recruitment leaflet and use it!
KEEP TALKING, KEEP RECRUITING!
Now is the time to tell non-members that they will not be part of that consultation ballot unless they join UNISON. Make sure you talk to every non-member in your workplace and give them the latest on the LGPS and get them to sign up!
We need more and more members to show the employers that we have got the industrial strength to resist attacks on pensions, pay, jobs and conditions. So carry on organising! Contact Indira Patel, firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be a UNISON pension contact or champion.