As such, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask people to work longer and pay more for a longer retirement.
What actually happens is that the government make a proposal, the union say no, make a counter proposal of 'keeping things the same', the government tries to compromise, and the union still says no.
The same thing happened with BA. Its the same thing that happens with Royal Mail.
BatchFile (4th November 2011)
I would love to have voted, but the morons in my local council HR dept have inexplicably cancelled my union payments 3 times in 5 years now (along with cancelling my pension once, and getting my tax code wrong 3 times).
I fully agreed the pension system needed revising, but the simple fact is, the current pension is fast approaching not worth bothering with.
The biggest benefit to school/council/gov work is it's pension. Not so much what we get out of it, but because it's meant to be a safe, stable pension with little chances of it collapsing due to a bad financial year.
Many of these positions pay considerably less than private sector equivalents salary wise, so the promise of stable, guaranteed pension with good payouts was where it became worthwhile; I can work for a high salary, and put my money away for a later day now, or I can work for a lower salary that pays better when I retire.
I got a better pension with my last employer, it was worth a lot more, but was tied to the shares of the company, so could have gone tits-up at any point.
If they want to fix the schemes then fine, but don't hit us with all of it at once.
Assuming I stay around the same salary with the same payment plan, and work in local gov for the next 40 years, adding 2 years at the end is equivalent to a 5% hike in what I'm paying into the scheme.
Now add in the 10% hike in payments each year, I'm taking a 15% hit.
Now add in the fact that regardless, what I get back at the end is lower, probably by 5-10% than I would have got, I'm taking a 20-25% hit in my pension. Now add in the huge number of redundancies being made.... their grand plan was to fire as many of the lowest paid workers paid by the government as possible, as unemployment benefits come from a different pot and work out cheaper. The fact that by firing one of their exec's in each council they could pay for 3-10 front line workers doesn't compute.
Fix the corrupt bankers, fix the loopholes in the pension scheme to stop pension-padding towards the end of retirement, and stop screwing up my future. For the sake of the current morons in charge trying to gain potential votes for the next election, attempting to pay off all debts now and screwing the country in the process, I'm not surprisingly a fan of these changes.
What I'm saying is, the intended purpose of a trade union is to fight for the democratic right of ALL of your public sector colleagues. Whether it is cleaners, canteen staff, IT staff, bin men etc.
I'm not asking if you agree with what they are asking for.
Last edited by Gardinho; 4th November 2011 at 04:15 PM.
creese (4th November 2011)
From my point of view we already have to deal with low wages, low pay increments and lack of progression oportunity depending on your job. This was balanced with a decent pension, flexi hours and job security. The plus points being eroded will never be given back and without the power of numbes we will be powerless to just accept whatever we are given. While I don't fully believe it is realistic to expect what the Union is demanding I do believe that a comprimise can be made but without the strength in numbers the government will not listen.
So for that reason I will be going on strike reluctantly. I would expect the full support of my Union should I need it, so I shall be providing my support to them.
I've never been involved in a strike, but I'm in two minds about this now.
The issue is that currently the scheme is a ‘Final Salary Scheme’. This means that the scheme would take your salary at retirement, divide it by 60 and multiply by your years of contribution. The Government propose a change to this to base the pension on ‘average earnings’. In most cases this would make members worse off at retirement.
The Government are proposing to raise the retirement age, raise contributions and provide reduced benefits. The Government are not proposing that the employer contribution is raised, in fact they seem to have an objective to save money by cutting employer contributions ie another way of cutting wages.
The LGPS is not under threat and is by no means financially wobbly. It has been independently reviewed as a healthy and viable scheme with more contributions going into it than payments being made.
The real problem here is that if this is unopposed; then rather than another pay freeze next year (essentially a pay cut with high inflation) then we'll be looking at pay cuts next year.
Your right in the fact that thats what unions were first set up for and in traditional proper jobs they used their muscle when they could to get better deals for their members.
As you can see, a lot of school IT support staff are just in the union for perceived legal protection and you might be right - they might be better off paying directly for legal insurance.
Although, I personally have never been in a union,because I wouldn't strike and I personally think its morally wrong to be in one and not back the majority vote if they decide to do so, I was interested to discover that the Voice union has a no strike position so I might join that for the legal help if needed.
PS Unless a vote has riders attached to it, then most democratic descisions are decided by the people who actually turn up and vote.
It's not logical to forfeit a days pay and valuable work time for something you neither voted in favour of, or indeed support in any way. I'd also say that Unison were next to useless when we were going through the pay and benefits review, so I don't feel any great loyalty there.
If you were promised something then yes you have a reasonable expectation that you will get it. However, for most people, they didn't expect that the global economy would be such a mess, or that several governments would raid pension pots and mess up the country's finances. So, your reasonable expectation has to change according to the state of the country's finances.
It is ridiculous to expect that everything will stay the same with your pension when the rest of the economy and the government finances are basically ruined...
zag (4th November 2011)
So basically, even if I totally disagree with the reason for the strike, think the unions are being unreasonable, I should annoy my employer and strike anyway. Because 29% of the union voted yes?I don't think you understand my argument.
What I'm saying is, the intended purpose of a trade union to fight for the democratic right of ALL of your public sector colleagues. Whether it is cleaners, canteen staff, IT staff, bin men etc.
I'm not asking if you agree with what they are asking for.
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