Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Public service pensions - UNISON briefing to MSPs

UNISON Scotland has sent a briefing to MSPs on public service pension contributions in advance of the Cabinet Secretary's statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon. In particular it clarifies the devolved aspects of this issue.

Whilst the attack on pensions comes from the UK Government, scheme design, including contributions, is a devolved issue. We have urged the Scottish Government not to give in to pressure from the Con-Dem coalition. The finances of the Scottish NHS and local government pension schemes are strong, so there is no need for an additional contribution increase. This is simply a 'tax' on workers who are already suffering pay restraint and rising living costs.    

These themes were taken up by UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis in his speech in Manchester yesterday, he said: 

"To those who say name the day, I say a day won't be enough. To those who say, negotiate, I say anytime, anywhere, for as long as it takes. To Danny Alexander. Boffin or buffoon? He may have done us a favour. The world now knows what they're about. A 50% increase in pensions contributions – not a penny into the pensions funds. A 50% reduction in benefits. All workers to work longer, and if you happen to be privatised – well tough. You can't take it with you. And to add insult to injury, 300,000 women finding out on the radio that their state pension age will go up, yet again, to 65, then to 67, and more. They will lose thousands. And it's daylight robbery."

There has been some misleading media comment on opinion polls in relation to public support for strikes over pensions. For a more balanced analysis see Liberal Conspiracy. For example,
Populus found 54% of people agreed that strikes were a legitimate way for unions to protect the pay and conditions of their members. Only 18% of the public disagreed. Even the much quoted Comres poll included the question “Public-sector workers are right to take strike action over maintaining their pension plans” – 48% agreed. 36% disagreed and 16% were unsure. 

Didn't see these figures in the mainstream media today!

UNISON Scotland briefing (pdf):

Briefing to MSPs on public service pension contributions

ore on our pensions campaign:

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