By Heenal Rajani, Lambeth Council Unison
Unison members protested outside the head office of the Local Government Association in London on October 27, wearing skeleton costumes and masks, against plans to make local government workers “work till they drop” for their pensions.
Shortly before the general election, deputy prime minister John Prescott agreed to revoke plans to raise the local government pension age to 65 and abolish the “85 year rule” which allows council workers to retire as early as 55 if their years of service and age add up to 85.
The LGA’s “new” plans, published in mid-October, are worse than the original. In addition to raising the retirement age and abolishing the 85 year rule, they seek to increase worker contributions to the local government pensions scheme.
As we went to press, new negotiations with the local government employer were taking place on November 2.