Support PCS walkouts at Historic Royal Palaces over pensions

05 Feb 2019

Support PCS members at the Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace who are walking out tomorrow (6) over attacks on their pensions.

Our members held a well-supported walkout on 21 December over plans by the independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces, which manages six of the UK's unoccupied royal palaces, to close its defined benefits pension scheme to future accruals and move the 120 staff who are members of the scheme into a defined contribution scheme. This will result in our members receiving, in some cases massively less pension than they had been promised.

In a ballot in December 91.4% of members voted yes for action on a 72% turnout.

Members, whose roles include heads of departments, Yeoman Warders, and involved in admissions, security, retail, IT and conservation at the Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace, are set to walk out for 4 hours at all sites on 6, 16 and 21 February between 11am and 3pm on each day. The action tomorrow (6 February) is the same day as the anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. At the Tower of London a royal gun salute is to be fired by the guns of the Honourable Artillery Company.

Our members have made it clear to the employer what an acceptable offer would look like, including a demand for a 15% employer contribution and a lump sum, the current payments amount to over 30% of salary for each in the DB scheme.

We have asked HRP chief executive John Barnes for further negotiations and expressed that a deal would need to include 15% regular employer contributions.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has sent a message of support to the strikers: “I fully support the Royal Palace staff taking action to protect their pensions. They have been forced to strike because their pensions are now at risk. Many will face a tough life after retirement if their pension is undermined in this way. These union members are courageously standing up for their basic rights.”

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