Unite the Union

Unite the Union

October 05, 2007 11:00 ET

Citizens Advice staff devastated by pension scheme closure

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2007) -

Attention: news desks, voluntary sector journalists.

Unite, the UK's largest union, is urging Citizens Advice to find an alternative solution following the organisations announcement that it is to close the final salary pension scheme to existing and future employees.

The proposals, which will affect 277 of the organisation's employees and 92 London CAB staff, advocate replacing pension security with a money purchase scheme that provides no guarantee for workers when they retire.

The devastating announcement comes hot on the heels of a 20% cut in the government funding grant which has led to a major restructuring and redundancy programme. In addition the DTI (now BERR) recently took action which limits the amount of reserves that not for profit organisations it funds can accumulate to provide contingency against such risks.

Unite is urging Citizens Advice to go back to its funders to ensure that staff do not receive a cut in what is deferred pay. The sector is continually having to cut its cloth according to tight margins in funding, but expecting hard working staff to take this is a step too far.

Unite National Officer, Rachael Maskell said:

"Funders have to take more responsibility for the pay and conditions of staff in the sector. In a sector where terms and conditions are being cut due to the competitive contracting environment, expecting staff to take a hit in pensions is taking things too far.

"In what is already recognised as a low pay sector, where recent research shows that average salary is 20% less than its public and private sector counterparts, cutting pensions further takes advantage of dedicated staff."

Unite's lead representative at Citizens Advice, Dagmar Kattler, said:

"The workers at Citizens Advice are devastated that their security for retirement is being torn away from them. They are still struggling to deal with the consequences of the cut in government grant and this feels like another kick in the teeth for hardworking staff.

"Morale is already at rock bottom. Unite will do all it can to make management find a solution which enables the final salary pension scheme to be retained for all staff."

Contact Information

  • Unite press office
    Martin Scanlon
    07764 655751
    Unite press office
    Rachael Maskell
    07768 693933