Movement on pensions welcomed but ballot continues

Movement on pensions welcomed but ballot continues

A new offer on public service pensions was today presented to trade union leaders at a meeting with Treasury and Cabinet Office ministers.

The TUC delegation, including Prospect general secretary Paul Noon, attended the meeting in Whitehall with chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, and Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude.

Following the 90-minute meeting, the TUC's public services liaison group convened at Congress House in London and agreed the following statement:

"At the meeting earlier today Danny Alexander and Francis Maude outlined a number of new proposals to the TUC negotiating team, including an improvement in the proposed accrual rates within the major public service schemes compared to their previous position, and new proposed transitional protections for those closest to retirement. They also indicated a long-term commitment to any agreed reforms not being reopened within the next 25 years.

"The PSLG welcomed this movement in the government's position which has come as a direct result of the strength of feeling and determination shown by public sector workers and the groundswell of support for the TUC's day of action at the end of this month.

"These proposals, and their detailed implications for the pensions offer within each scheme, will now need to be considered in detail within the sector-specific negotiations, alongside all the other issues including proposed contribution increases, increases in the pension age, and the impact of the indexation change from RPI to CPI on which the government's position remains unchanged.

"All the unions have indicated throughout this process their determination to reach a negotiated settlement on all these issues. That remains the position and unions will engage intensively in the coming weeks. But unless and until further real progress is made and acceptable offers are made within those negotiations, unions remain firmly committed to continuing their preparations for the planned day of action on November 30.

"A further meeting of the PSLG will be held in November to consider reports on any progress made within the sector talks."See the Pensions Justice area of the Prospect website