November 20, 2006 10:28 ET

Trade unions warn of need for improved offer as pension negotiations end

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 20, 2006) - Local government workers from across the country will converge on Parliament on Wednesday (22nd November) to protest against proposed changes to their pensions.

As talks with the local government employers conclude, Amicus say they fear that the failure of the Local Government Association to enter into constructive negotiations may mean that the offer will be rejected by members.

Trade unions have been in talks with local government employers about changes to the scheme for existing local government pension scheme members and for new entrants. The proposed changes will affect people working in local government, education and transport staff, and many people working in the voluntary sector.

Amicus' National Officer for Local Government, John Allott, said: "An agreement has been reached with other public sector scheme members and unless we can reach an agreement that is fair and equitable for our local government members we will not be able to recommend it to them in a ballot.

"Significant improvements have to be made to the current proposals if local government workers are to agree to changes."

A local government pension strike was averted last year when the Government agreed to look again at the controversial plans, but Amicus says the proposals being made now by the Government are almost as detrimental as the original ones and will have a devastating affect on public sector workers' expected incomes in retirement.

The current proposals include raising employee contributions to 7% for lower benefits. Local government employers have already ended the 85 year rule which enabled members to retire early without detriment, depending on their years of service.

Amicus' local authority members are employed as essential maintenance workers including electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters and decorators, and roofers.

Note to editors

Trade union members will be available for interview at Methodist Central Hall, on Wednesday 22nd November between 12.00 and 3 pm.

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Contact Information

  • Amicus press office
    Catherine Bithell
    020 7 420 8909 or 07958 473 224