Local government workers outrage at planned pension changes

Delegates at the Public Services Group of the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) have slammed plans to change local government pension scheme and agreed to press ahead with ballots for industrial action.

The T&G said the average local government pension is only £3,800 and that women workers, many of whom are low paid, form the majority of staff whose pensions are part of the local government pension scheme.

Along with the other local government unions, the T&G is demanding the option of lifetime protection for members plus the right to retire at 60 with no reduction in pension or increased contribution.

The dispute has arisen because the government intends to scrap the 85-year rule from October 2006. This allows people to retire on a full pension at 60 if their age and years of service total 85 or more (ie, aged 60 with 25 years of service), or before 60 at the employer’s discretion.

“The least local government workers should expect is to be treated the same as other public sector workers,” said Peter Allenson, T&G national organiser for services.

“Other public sector workers in the NHS, Civil Service and teachers pension schemes were given lifetime protection when their normal retirement age was moved from 60 to 65 so why should local government pension scheme members be treated any different?”

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