12/04/2006

Union leaders move to suspend council strikes

Leaders of the council workers unions have called for upcoming strikes over pension rights to be suspended.

The unions have issued a joint statement detailing a framework for discussions between unions and local government employers.

The statement said that the talks would now seek "to address the protection of existing Scheme members, the recycling of savings and the development of a more equitable Scheme."

More than a million staff held a 24-hour strike last month against plans to scrap rules allowing council staff to retire at 60.

More strikes were due to be held on April 25 and 27.

Commenting on behalf of the trade unions, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "I am very pleased that it has now been possible to agree with the Local Government Employers a sensible framework for the detailed negotiations necessary on the future of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

"These negotiations will focus on the proper protections for the pension arrangements of existing staff and the long term.

"These negotiations now offer a positive route forward to secure fairness and high quality pensions for all workers covered by the LGPS in the future."

Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: "It will come as a relief to employees, employers and local people that this industrial action has been suspended.

"The Local Government Association will be working hard in meaningful discussions with the unions to come up with a long term reform of the Local Government Pension Scheme that is fair to employees, continues to make local government an attractive place to work in and is affordable for council taxpayers."

(KMcA)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 April 2004
Local government pay talks 'stalled' say union
Pay talks covering 1.5 million local government workers stalled today when the employers signalled a reluctance to improve on a 7% “with strings” offer over three years. Unison National Secretary Heather Wakefield, said: “After three joint secretaries’ meetings, it’s absolutely clear that the employers are adopting a tough stance.
06 April 2004
Project to help vulnerable children praised
A project that uses state of the art technology to identify vulnerable children before they get to the point of offending has been praised by the Local e-Government Minister for successfully concluding the first phase of its pilot scheme.
11 March 2005
Civil service unions to take strike action
"Massive majorities" of public sector workers have voted in favour of strike action over the proposed rise in the pension age, it has been announced. Ballots conducted by Amicus, the Transport and General Workers Union, UCATT and UNISON recorded votes of between 73% and 87% in favour of a one-day strike across the UK on March 23.
26 September 2008
Funding Boost Of £455m For Equal Pay Claims
Funding of £455m will be awarded to councils in England to allow back payments relating to thousands of equal pay claims from women workers. In a move to speed up long-term commitments to achieving equal pay for all council workers, local government minister John Healey gave the go-ahead to 34 councils to raise the money through capitlisation.
19 December 2012
Plans Announced To Reverse Policy Of Tax-Payer Funded Pensions
The Department for Communities and Local Government have today announced plans to reverse the controversial Labour Government policy of taxpayer-funded pensions for councillors.