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Submitted by Matthew on Sun, 12/06/2011 - 09:32

"the successful experiences of the PCS in a series of industrial struggles, including in the pensions battle of 2005, which along with other ultra-lefts the AWL heavily criticised at the time."

Before the 2005 pensions deal agreed by PCS, people joining the civil service had the right to retire at 60. People joining after it now have to work to 65 to get the same pension. How is that not a step backwards? Why is it "ultra-left" to criticise such a deal?

I assume the "successful" element of the deal Taaffe is referring to is the SP's loudly heralded - and totally false - claim in 2005 that they had secured for all exisiting civil servants the right to retire at 60. That promise lasted only as long as the minister who made it, it had no legal or contractual basis and is now being ripped up by the government.

The SP cannot claim that they did not realise the implications of the pensions deal they agreed on behalf of PCS members in 2005. The falseness of their claim that they had secured a cast iron guarantee of retirement at 60 for existing civil servants and their foolishness in pursuing an industrial strategy that created a two-tier workforce in which those with preserved rights could over time only become an increasingly small minority were repeatedly pointed out to them at the time by myself and other PCS reps.

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