Pensions

Union unity on pensions?

Late last year union leaders of the public sector unions met to discuss the way forward on pension rights and provision. This meeting had been convened on the initiative of the civil service union PCS but was called under the auspices of the TUC.

In the civil service, as with the rest of the public sector, the Government is proposing to raise the pension retirement age and is talking of ending the final salary scheme. The PCS is trying to build a common cross public sector union position, hence the meeting.

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All out for pensions on 23 March!

The Government has announced its intention that the pension retirement age for public sector workers should be 65.

On top of that they want to replace “final salary” schemes by “career average” schemes.

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Pensions Campaign Day: Friday 18 February

Local union branches and trades councils are getting together for the TUC pensions day of action on Friday 18 February, and preparing for strikes on Wednesday 23 March. What’s happening in your area?

Birmingham

Birmingham Trades Council activists’ meeting. Thursday 3 February, 7.30pm, Council House, Birmingham City Centre. Speakers include Roger McKenzie, TUC Regional Secretary.

Bolton

Friday 18 February: joint union rally on Bolton Town Hall steps between 12 and 1pm.

Cardiff

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TUC pensions day of action

Thousands of public-sector workers attended rallies and lobbies on Friday 18 February to protest at government plans to downgrade public-sector pensions schemes. Friday 18 February was called by the TUC as a nationwide day of protest on pensions.

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Unite for pensions!

By Colin Foster

Members of the civil service union PCS, and local government members of the public services union Unison, are balloting for a strike on 23 March against the Government’s plans to cut their pensions. Their ballot results are due on 9 March, for Unison, and 11 March, for PCS.

The college lecturers’ union NATFHE and the teachers’ union NUT are consulting members about a further strike on 14 April - since 23 March is in the school and college holidays - and some smaller unions are set to join both dates.

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NUT action needed beyond the one-day strike

By Patrick Murphy, Leeds NUT

This year’s NUT Conference meets in Gateshead from Friday 25 March to Tuesday 29 March. The dominant issue is likely to be the campaign to defend pension rights, with a ballot for one-day strike action due to open the day before the conference starts. The NUT ballot will close on 11 April and the target date for strike action is 26 April. This date will be confirmed after discussions with other unions, particularly NATFHE, NASUWT, Unison and ATL, to encourage their involvement in action on the same day.

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Tax the rich to pay for pensions!

By Martin Thomas

On 23 March, and maybe on 26 April, public sector workers will be striking against the New Labour government’s move to “level down” their pensions nearer to the misery already enforced in the private sector. The civil servants’ union PCS and local government members of the public service union Unison and other unions have all returned ballot majorities for a strike on 23 March. The teachers’ union NUT is balloting for a strike on 26 April, and has approached other education unions to join it on that day.

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A fight that must challenge capital

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Robin Blackburn

Robin Blackburn, author of Banking on Death, or, Investing in Life: The history and future of pensions, spoke at the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty London forum on 17 February 2005.

The pension issue is the one which has proved time and again that it can get really large numbers of working people fighting for their rights and for a better world.

Robin Blackburn, author of "Banking on Death, or, Investing in Life: The history and future of pensions", speaking at the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty London forum on 17 February 2005

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