Pensions win for transferred Wales rural workers

Pensions win for Wales rural workers but concerns remain

Staff running the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service – the outsourced rural regeneration agency – have won a significant pensions victory after new contract holder Antur Teifi introduced changes to their terms and conditions

Prospect has been campaigning on their behalf after staff were informed that 96 people would be made redundant when the contract transferred to Antur Teifi on 4 January. In addition, until that date the company would not:

  • tell them what their salary or job descriptions would be under the new contract
  • allow those with local government pension arrangements to remain in that scheme, as permitted by pension legislation
  • cover additional travel costs arising from the move to an office in St Asaph, which in some cases adds an extra 70 miles per day and could exceed £5k in additional travel costs
  • recognise trade unions.

Following approaches by the union, Antur Teifi has agreed to allow employees with local government pension arrangements to remain in that scheme.

A statement from the company’s finance and property manager confirmed that it has passed all relevant information to Gwynedd County Council, the local government pension scheme provider, and its actuaries.

In letters to staff, Antur Teifi also confirmed that the scheme will be bac-dated to 1 January and sought permission to deduct January’s missed employee contribution from the payroll.

Prospect negotiator Tony Hammond said: “While this is a significant victory, it will not detract us from the other concerns our members have over the new service provider.”