Pensions offer - what the unions say

20 December 2011

PCS has reiterated its commitment to negotiating - but ministers have refused to talk about the three core issues.

These are forcing public servants to pay hundreds of pounds more each year in pensions contributions; to work for up to eight years longer and to receive much less in retirement - in many cases, tens of thousands of pounds less

It’s not true - as some commentators have implied - that all the other unions involved have signed up to the government’s proposal.

Civil service pension scheme

PCS has talked of more strikes if the core issues are not resolved.

NIPSA - the biggest public sector union in Northern Ireland - says it "will be working with our colleagues in PCS to determine if further action in respect of civil service pensions is possible."

Read the NIPSA statement

Prospect, which also represents civil servants, says on its website: ”Prospect has agreed to enter a further round of talks on the government's plans to change the civil service pension scheme.

“But while it has suspended industrial action for the duration of the talks, it has reserved the right to take further action if the talks break down.”

Read the Prospect statement

The FDA union, which represents senior civil servants and tax collectors, said: “The FDA has not at this stage agreed to a new scheme, only that the negotiations have reached a point where the key elements will be put to our executive committee at a later date, following further negotiations on a number of outstanding issues.

“No agreement will be concluded until all members have had their say in a ballot.”

Read the FDA statement

The Prison Officers' Association has told the government "that the POA would not endorse the 'heads of agreement' as outlined in their formal offer until there has been a suitable conclusion to our negotiations on the normal pension age."

Read the POA statement

(UPDATE - Wednesday 21 December) The Union News website is reporting that Unite has said it was "bounced" into signing the civil service pensions scheme agreement and suspended talks with the government.

Read the full story

Teachers' pension scheme

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said : “Following lengthy discussions the NUT was not able to sign up to the government’s headline proposals.

“ There was insufficient progress in terms of the government’s position that teachers should work longer, pay more and get less.

"In the NUT we reserved our position due to lack of progress but also the lack of documentation in certain critical areas.”

Read the NUT statement

The NASUWT teaching union says on it s website: “The NASUWT has not signed the Department for Education  heads of agreement document and has reserved its position, insisting on further information from the government.”

In a detailed statement general secretary Chris Keates says the government still wants teachers “to pay more, receive less and work longer for their pensions.”

Chris goes on: “Teachers would expect their negotiators to insist on a detailed examination of the implications of the DfE’s proposals and to exercise due diligence. In the timescale imposed by the government, this simply was not possible.”

Read the full NASUWT statement  

UCAC - a Welsh teachers union - decided not to sign an agreement with the government. General secretary Elaine Edwards said: “The talks have been constructive; but the latest proposals still don’t fully address the principal concerns of UCAC’s members. We cannot agree to this proposal without further discussion."

Dim cytundeb ar bensiynau athrawon 

Read the UCAC statement in English

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: "Following extensive talks with government officials UCU, together with the NUT, UCAC, and NASUWT, has decided to reserve its position on the proposed agreement."

Read the full UCU statement

Local government pension scheme

On Tuesday 20 December Unison, GMB, and Unite - the UK's three biggest unions - suspended the agreement they had made with the government over the local government pension scheme. 

On Wednesday 21 December Unison and the GMB said talks were "back on track".

Read statement on Unison website

The Union News website reported that Unite had suspended talks until January.

Read the Union News report

Health service pension scheme

In the health talks the workers' representatives signed up to the “heads of agreement” but expressed concerns saying: “The staff side are clear that there are important issues still to be resolved and that the final decision on agreeing or otherwise will be taken by each union in line with their own democratic processes."

The statement was issued on behalf of the British Association of Occupational Therapists, British Dental Association, British Dietetics Association, British Medical Association, British and Irish Orthoptic Society, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Federation of Clinical Scientists, GMB, Hospital Consultants and Specialist Association, Managers in Partnership, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing, Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, Society of Radiographers, and Unison.

Unison - the biggest health union - said: "The document is not an agreement or a deal."

Read the Unison statement

The POA is not part of the negotiating body but represents workers in secure psychiatric hospitals. The union said: "Our members at Ashworth, Broadmoor, Carstairs and Rampton will be consulted to determine what is acceptable to them."

Read the POA statement


"Unacceptable bullying" will not deter union's members – PCS response to Danny Alexander’s statement today (Tuesday 20 December)

PCS has published correspondence with the government and explained the latest offer

Pensions raid is legalised theft - Mark Serwotka in the New Statesman

Read our ‘Fair pensions for all’ booklet

There is an alternative - economic arguments against the cuts

It’s time to take sides - join PCS

Follow PCS on Twitter, Facebook and Unionbook

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