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Unite rejects NHS pensions deal

Trade union Unite has unanimously rejected the Government’s latest proposals for reform of the NHS pension scheme.

The key features of the agreement for NHS workers included moving to a career average scheme, bringing retirement ages into line with the state pension age, introducing an accrual rate of 1/54th of earnings, and revaluing pre-retirement benefits by CPI plus 1.5 per cent for active members and CPI for deferred members.

NHS staff must also pay higher contributions into their pension.

Unite says its primary concerns are the proposed increase in pension contributions, the linking of the retirement age to the state pension age and the accrual rates offered to NHS staff.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: ”Our NHS executive unanimously rejects the Government’s pernicious attempts to make hard working and dedicated NHS staff pay more, work longer and get less when they retire.

“The Government’s attacks on public sector pensions are politically motivated, as part of an overall design to privatise the NHS, cut public services, break-up the national pay agreements, and disrupt legitimate trade union activities and organisation.

“Unite believes it is important to continue a campaign to maintain a fair and equitable system of public sector pensions and calls on ministers to enter into real, genuine and meaningful negotiations on the future of NHS pensions and public sector pensions.”


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There are 22 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. In other words Unite wants to continue the unfair treatment….of every tax payer, for the benefit of their members?

    If they want real fairness – close EVERY final salary pension schemes (both Public and Private) and reset them up on a money purchase basis…


  2. When are the so called hard working Public Sector get in the real world and start paying for things that private sector workers have had to contribute to for years. Let them go on strike but I certainly will not be giving them any support. Spoilt brats if you ask me!!!

  3. Let’s go for record numbers of comments on the laziness, selfishness, parasitic nature of public sector workers please…. all welcome.

  4. ”Our NHS executive unanimously rejects the Government’s pernicious attempts to make hard working and dedicated NHS staff pay more, work longer and get less when they retire.”

    Really?? How angry would they be if they were being asked to pay more, work longer, get less when they retire AND pay more to supplement the pensions of (greedy) others who have the tenacity to use words like “fair and equitable”.

    Time to grow up, folks.

  5. I have more sympathy for the nurses than I do for the tube drivers

  6. I used to think that Bob Crowe was the devil incarnate. I now have a sneaking admiration for him.

    Maybe Len McCluskey should be on the TSC rather than Mr Tyrie. I have a sneaking suspicion Mr Mc L wouldn’t have rolled over to sants, or couched correspondence in such cosy terms to someone who thumbed his nose at parliament.

    As regards the the fairness or otherwise of having one’s pension contract sliced and diced by the government because of the criminally negligent behaviour of so many bankers, I have a grudging respect for Mc L as he is not a rollover merchant.

    How’s about inviting him to oust La Goddard at the PFS. Might get something positve done for IFAs rather than saddling them with a crushing exam burden.

  7. Unite are totally ignoring the economic reality of where we are, combined with the fact that that life expectancies arer now far greater than when these schemes were designed.
    Unfortunately for them, when the tide comes in, it comes in on every beach and the taxpayer can no longer afford the cost of public sector pensions, even the revised Government offers are unsustainable.

  8. Calling all public sector workers lazy, selfish and parasitic does nobody any credit and certainly will not help to inform any debate. However what is incontrovertible(supported by facts) is that public sector workers do enjoy shorter working weeks, better pay, better holiday entitlement, better working conditions, have more time off sick and enjoy better pensions than their private sector counterparts.
    Whether the methodology of the Government negotiaters is acceptable maybe open to debate but for the public sector unions attempting to take the moral high ground in this debate is shameful

  9. “Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: ”Our NHS executive unanimously rejects the Government’s pernicious attempts to make hard working and dedicated NHS staff pay more, work longer and get less when they retire.”

    Oh really – so all of the rest of us poor old tax paying public can contiue to cough up for the level of pensions that their members will have (even under HMG’s revised proposals) that the rest of us poor suds can only dream of. Fantastic.

    They should be treated in exactly the same way as most members of private final salary scheme members already have – ie moost are now ex-members, the schemes simply having been closed. But will our politicians have the backbone to stand up to them……now there’s a question.

  10. Same old crap from the unions I see.

  11. The only thing the union will except s no change!

  12. So many comments and all are to some degree right!
    If you calculated the actual rate per hour the public sector earns ,taking into account their time off, holidays, sick leave(this is the worst part of their overall attitude) plus their ‘perks’, the rate would be something everybody would want in a job!
    The leaders of the Unions need to have their motivations questioned as they are nearing being likened to ‘greedy,overbearing,self opinionated bullies’.
    They personally have everything that their members want-HOW?
    Get rid of them and we will see people being reasonable and realising just how lucky they are compared to millions of other people.
    If you think these remarks are made from a position of ignorance,I was a public sector worker, and I milked the system the same as they all do!

  13. The greedy bankers got us into this and government bailed them out to the tune of aprox £76 Billion which in time they will get back.

    The country has overspent by aprox £1,500 Billion. Council taxes and general tax rise all the time to fund the public sector pay and pension.

    Labour did a great job of reducing the state pension liability by allowing people who have never paid a bean into the system to receive as much as much as those who have paid for 50 years.

    Whether it is state pension or public sector pension the reality is it will be funded by the young who will never get the same share as the golden generation

    Fingers crossed that the whole system does not collapse completely

  14. I’m astonished at the sanctimonious rubbish peddled by various contributors. Public sector workers have a contractual right to their pensions. The rights and wrongs of each side’s position can be endlessly debated. If someone wanted to change my employment contract for the worse I’d expect some compensatory pay off, and have no doubt every other reader would too. A pension forms part of someone’s remuneration and who can blame the public sector unions for seeking to preserve them.

  15. Nobody likes to see their expectations reduced, but most of us in Private Pensions have poor or no retirement expectations. Is it fair that my retirement should be further decimated so that others may not be affected at all?

  16. Sorry I need to wake up and smell the coffee!!. I work for my private sector company for what seems around 52 hours a week for, do not receive more than 4 weeks sick pay if I am ill, contribute to my own non guaranteed pension scheme, pay for Income Protection.

    For some people not on the front line services of the Public Sector (e.g. Admin and Management) have got employment benefits over and above those in the private sector and some abuse the benefits they have e.g. 6 months full sick pay etc…work less hours and in some cases get paid considerably more than those in the private sector…..I have possibly 10 or more immediate case studies of this!!!!

    Absolutely the Public Sector needs to get a reality check….No sympathy!

  17. Precious few solutions on offer here – as usual. Rant and bit, shout some more and trust others will sort it out. Useless.

    Hybrid it. By that I mean limit to the National Average Salary what a public sector worker can have fully eligible for final salary benefits. Anything above that goes into NEST on say 5% employer contribution.

    The Unions should be satisfied as they trumpet the needs of the low paid, who remain provided for. The well remunerated public sector now come into the real world of pension provision and HMG presumably saves a wedge of cash. Even NEST benefits from a huge influx of contributions from the public sector.

    Or am I missing something? Ideology perhaps?

  18. I could rant or shout quite easily, but like Iain I prefer to look at solutions. Iain’s looks like a fair suggestion, so perhaps we should be shouting at BOTH sides to look at realistic and acceptable options like this.
    It needs to be remembered that the Uniosn put NiLibor in power with Goldun Brun’s “no more boom and bust”, which many of us laughed at, so for Millilibor (once again in place due to the Unions) to be shouting about the problems caused by THEIR appointees is a little rich…. but then you could probably say for Union leaders now, what you used to histrorically say for farmers…. “you never see a poor farmer”.
    How the world has changed.

  19. It’s the union’s job to protect the rights of it’s members so why is anyone surprised that they are resisting the change even if they know that the change is inevitable?

    Resistance will undoubtably lead to the proposed changes being softened, it’s called bargaining.

  20. The proposed changes do not go nearly far enough. Mr Anonymous should realise that an employee within the NHS doesn’t have a contract for life – the contract sets out the conditions that are in place UNTIL THEY ARE CHANGED. If someone doesn’t like the new contract then they can always walk. But, rest assured, there won’t be many walking because most State employees realise that if their wages were reduced by 20% and their pension rights halved, they would still enjoy working conditions, perks and salaries well in excess of those available in the private sector. As someone who is self-employed (no sick pay, no holiday pay and no pension) I still have to pay tax to support the payment of pensions to the feather-bedded State workers even after I retire.

    Cameron needs to stand firm for the sake of all those self-employed people who work hard for a living and receive virtually nothing from the State in return – we don’t even get a SERPS or S2P top-up to the State pension no matter how much tax we pay. I wish someone would change my contract – it can’t get any worse !!!

  21. 30k for an IT graduate with a master’s of 7 years experience and that is about as close to London as you can get. Which DBA/PHP Developer/IT Project manager alone in London earns anything like that? I do all three of the above jobs where I work.

    With the new proposals 10% of my salary will go to pension contributions up from 7% currently…

    To top it all of the NHS pension scheme is actually well funded and with a surplus from current contribution levels. The extra contributions will go to the Treasury AFAIK meaning that NHS stuff will effectively pay an extra 3-6% in tax…

    I actually say screw the NHS, lets go all private so the lot of us have to pay health insurance premiums that could amount to a third of middle earners salaries. I know, I lived in the states for over a year and it was not pretty

  22. To: Anonymous | 6 Jan 2012 3:14 pm

    The last NHS trustee report I loked at showed that last year the scheme did in deed return a surplus, however in previous years this was a large deficit and the change is most likely down to the switch to CPI.

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