At the weekend I was at the oulaws for a while. Despite the fact both had worked in the Public Sector they were up in arms about a report on the Front Page of he Daily Express about how that rabid socialist Tony Blair was featherbedding Civil Service pensions. It wasn't surprising given the way the Express told the story, though why any sentient being reads let alone believes anything on its pages is another matter.
After the formalities and back-slapping that mark the start of Congress, the first big debate was on Pensions. As I reported yesterday, we had a long and uncontroversial composite motion on the subject.
Crucial proposals affecting all NHS workers have once again appeared during the summer holidays, and once again the NHS unions have signed up to give away some of our rights, on proposals that are still only half-written.
To understand the significance of the pensions dispute, we have to give it context. Pension provision for all workers in Britain is under sustained attack. Employers constantly announce that final-salary schemes are being closed and replaced by inferior money purchase schemes. Even these will be attacked when employers read the government’s Pensions White Paper.
The TUC welcomed the Government's White Paper on pensions, published in May. Only the week before, it had set out five "bottom-line" tests for the White Paper. Even on a generous reading, the White Paper passed only one.
Off The Rails leaflet for RMT pensions rallies, and for rail workplaces and union branches.
Click 'read more' to read text. Click 'download' to view, download or print (PDF, 2 sides of A4)
This --- opposes the Government's proposals in the Pensions White Paper to raise the state pension age to 68 by 2050.
RMT & TSSA are balloting their members on national rail to secure the future of the Railway Pension Scheme.
TSSA's ballot on action to defend railworkers’ pensions went down to a No vote. Which is probably what happens when (a) you build a union for decades on the basis of never going on strike, and (b) loads of your members are managers. RMT's ballot result, announced on 6 June, was: 16,203 for action (76.46 per cent) and 4,989 against (23.54 per cent), in a 50 per cent turnout. RMT's Executive decided not to name any strike dates. Instead, having previously rejected the “solution” of a tripartite “commission” to study the issue, it is now going along with it, albeit keeping the strike mandate 'live' and planning a series of rallies. RMT press release below.