All Out! All Out!

Following the strike and rally about local government pensions the government has still not budged on it’s position of decimating the scheme. The various unions have therefore resigned themselves to further strikes.

Instead of one single national day of action a 3 day rolling action has been planned with the Birmingham (and the rest of the West Midlands) strike scheduled for the 27th of April. Further action has been mooted for the 3rd and 4th of May, this would almost certainly impact on the local elections.

The background to these strikes is not purely about the removal of the 85 year rule, as the media have largely portrayed them. The government have guaranteed other schemes in the public sector (Police, Fire Service, NHS, Civil Servants &c) but have targetted the Local Governmnet Pension Scheme (LGPS) for attack. The LGPS (or rather the schemes, there are several, under that umbrella) is a fully funded scheme where payments to retired members are paid from investments of contributions those members have made over the years, not from council tax as some parts of the media and others have been claiming. Most of the schemes are very healthy, despite the employers failing to make their share of the contributions much of the time (under the terms and conditions of LGPS members they make a contribution of 6% of their salary whilst their employer contributes 12%, many employers have given themselves payment holidays for most of the last 20 years).

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