Pensions Post – Update for Coventry Unison members

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Click for our newsletter – PDCC LGPS DCLG consultation on structural reform redux

Government consultation: Opportunities for collaboration, cost savings and efficiencies within the Local Government Pension Scheme

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) launched a consultation on structural reforms to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), which closed on July 11th 2014.

Background

In 2012 the government launched a call for evidence on structural change. UNISON’s submission called for the merger of LGPS funds and for asset management to be bought in-house, to eliminate fees, increase income by £1bn a year and create public sector jobs.

At the end of 2013 the DCLG set up a further review. Hymans Robertson, who are investment advisors to a significant number of LGPS funds, has found that as much as £660m a year could be saved through better use of common investment vehicles.

Consultation details

The Government is proposing:

1. Establishing common investment vehicles to provide funds with a mechanism to access economies of scale, helping them to invest more efficiently.

2. Reducing investment fees by using passive management for listed assets.

3. Keeping asset allocation with the local pension fund authorities, and making available more data to help identify the cost of investment and drive further efficiencies.

UNISON Response

Merged funds would provide for greater savings, more accountability and transparency.

 UNISON has a legal opinion that the governance structure of the current funds is unlawful. The governance of pooled funds would add further complexity and costs.

 The proposals require scale, compulsion and legislative change. This approach introduces additional risks and delays.

 Total passive management of funds could make them inflexible. Active management carried out in-house would not carry the high costs charged by profit making external managers.

 Governance of any pooled arrangement must have equal numbers of employee and employer representatives.

 Pooled vehicles should be run by in-house investment teams so avoiding hidden transaction costs.

 Any cost reductions should be shared by both employers and scheme members. The Treasury should not be allowed to siphon more money away from the LGPS.

 

PRESS RELEASE – Coventry Local Government Workers ‘Locked Out’ of Recovery

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Click here for the Press Release – locked out press release

Local government workers in Coventry are not benefitting from the recovery.

UNISON is holding a lunch time protest on 20th August at 12.30 pm in Broadgate Square.

This will be to highlight the colossal cut in wages council workers have suffered in recent years. While the highest paid are enjoying bumper pay rises, council employees have to cut back on food, heating and bare essentials.

Since 2010 electricity prices have risen 28% and gas prices have risen by 38%. In the same period council employees’ wages have risen by 2%.

With 1,000 jobs cut already, and another 1,000 to go this year, council workers are expecting to do more for less, while struggling to feed themselves and their families.

UNISON’s members are being locked out of the recovery and need a decent pay rise, to support them and their local economy.

Contact: Chris Burrow 02476 521126 for info

Twitter hashtag for the event will be #lockedout

Unison reacts to the announcement of a further 1000 jobs to be slashed

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Members of staff will have received emails and heard in the press the latest plan from the Council to slash another 1000 of our jobs.  As we have stated many times, Unison are completely opposed to job losses, attacks on our terms and conditions and cuts to the vital public services that we provide (and use) as citizens of Coventry.

We keep hearing about the so-called economic ‘recovery’.  It may be a recovery for the rich, but where is our recovery? – Councils up and down the Country are still slashing jobs and services used by working people.

It is extremely disappointing that once again our elected Councillors are choosing not to stand up for the people of Coventry, but are choosing to implement the cuts from central government.

As well as the job losses, Unison is extremely concerned that there could be future attacks on terms and conditions and that decimated services would be ripe for either privatisation or complete closure.

We have been contacted by a number of members regarding the ER / VR programme who have questions about what has been communicated by management regarding the so-called ‘50% enhancement’.  

We would hope that management clarify any queries that members may have.

In the meantime, Unison stewards and officers from across the Council will be meeting in the next two weeks to discuss what our response should be as a trade union.  We will be having discussions about how we protest against these appalling cuts.

Please let your local steward know your views on the current situation.  If your area does not have one please consider becoming a Unison rep.

It is very important that we recruit non-members to Unison to enable us to have a stronger voice, so please speak to any colleagues in your workplace who are not members and encourage them to join Unison

Visit www.coventryunison.co.uk for further information.

In Solidarity

Coventry Unison.

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PAY DISPUTE: INDUSTRIAL ACTION – IMPORTANT UPDATE

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Unison’s NJC Committee met yesterday to consider plans for industrial action, following the strike on 10 July and its earlier decision to follow this with further action on 30 September.

The Committee agreed that maintaining unity between the three local government unions – GMB, Unite and UNISON, other sectors within UNISON and other public sector unions is crucial to achieving an improved pay offer for our members.

The NJC Committee therefore agreed not to proceed with strike action on 30 September and to seek approval from the Industrial Action Committee for all-out strike action on 14 October. This has the agreement of GMB and Unite and will coincide with the week of action planned by the NHS unions over pay.