T&GWU calls for strike on local government pension changes

The T&G union has urged thousands of union members in local councils across England and Wales to support a strike vote on changes to their pensions.

From April the earliest retirement age under the Local Government Pension Scheme will increase from 50 to 55, while normal retirement age will be standardised at 65.

The government is introducing the changes as part of its review of all public sector pension schemes to deal with longer lifespans, changing demographics and rising pension costs.

Discussions between the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, local government representatives and trade unions to stop strike action ended without agreement at the weekend.

Peter Allenson, T&G national secretary for public services, said the government seemed committed to the changes and “no real dialogue” had taken place with the unions.

“Ten of thousands of local government workers face the prospect of a worse pension for higher contributions,” he said. “That cannot be right. With an average pension of £3,800 in local government, these changes mean many people will have to plan for poverty rather than some modicum of security.”

At present the strike would take place on 23 March if union members vote for industrial action.

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