UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK




Sponsorship Comms Index Communications Forum Campaigns News Scotland inUNISON Press Releases


Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Date 2 December 2005

UNISON to mount challenge over attack on Local Government pensions

The UK President of UNISON, Scotland's public service union, will announce that the union intends to challenge the proposed removal of the rule of 85 and other detrimental changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) announced by John Prescott on Friday.

Christine Wilde is in Scotland to speak to the union's Scottish Council meeting where UNISON branches from across Scotland will be represented. The meeting takes place at 10.30am on Saturday 3 December at the Hamish Wood Building, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow.

Christine Wilde, Mike Kirby and other officials will be available for interview before and after the meeting. Contact Chris Bartter (below) for access. The rule of 85 allows (LGPS) members to retire at 60 on an unreduced pension if their age plus years of service equal 85.The union has consistently called for Scotlandís local council staff to be given the same conditions as that offered to the civil service, NHS and teaching staff.

"The Local Government pension scheme is the worst off of the schemes," Christine said. "And yesterday's announcement threatens to undermine it and attack long-serving and hard-working public servants. UNISON is currently investigating a legal challenge to the changes and we will not shirk from industrial action to defend membersí rights should that prove necessary."

The union points to differences between the attitude of local councils north and south of the border. Whereas the English employers were arguing strongly for this rule to be removed, CoSLA refused to accept their arguments that the rule was discriminatory, and have not argued for its removal.

Mike Kirby, UNISON's Scottish Convenor, said "Despite no support from Scottish employers or employees for this detrimental change, if it is adopted in England it is likely to be foisted on Scottish staff, as the Scottish Public Pensions Agency have made it clear they do not want separate pension arrangements from those in England and Wales. We need to make the government see sense and return to fair treatment for local government staff. They have paid into this pension all their working lives, unlike employers who took pensions holidays and reduced funding of the schemes."

The union will also be discussing other major issues, such as the funding of equal pay and the need for public services to be recognised as a positive contributor to the Scottish Economy.