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."


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