Vote among 250,000 GMB members represents ‘fair and balanced outcome for affordable and sustainable’ pension scheme, says union


The GMB has announced that 95% of members have voted ‘yes’ in a ballot on changes to the pension scheme for local government workers in England and Wales.

(Pictured: GMB members took part in nationwide pensions strike on 30 November 2011)

The new, career-average scheme is due to take effect from April 2014.

Following months of negotiations in the wake of last year’s N30 strike, unions, local government officials and the Treasury agreed proposals which they said secured no contribution increases for 90% of scheme members, as well as improvements on the rate at which workers’ pay is converted into pension payments, and which also linked their retirement age to changes in the state retirement age.

The new scheme will cover more than a million workers.

GMB represents around 250,000 local authority staff.

This is the first result to be released of the main local government unions balloting on pensions.

Ballots by UNISON and Unite close on Friday next week (24 August).

Brian Strutton, GMB national secretary, said: “GMB members have spoken loud and clear.

“The new LGPS 2014 proposals represent a fair and balanced outcome which means the pension scheme will remain affordable and sustainable.

“GMB members have recognised this as shown by the overwhelming vote in favour.

“There was great anger and frustration at the government’s original proposals for the LGPS which frankly would have seriously jeopardised the £150bn worth of funds.

“I’m really pleased that we have been able to deliver an acceptable outcome for GMB members from what looked like a total disaster.”

If UNISON and Unite members vote to accept the current proposals, it will be the first across-the-board endorsement of highly contentious changes to public sector pensions proposed by Coalition ministers.

Unions representing teachers, civil servants and higher education staff remain opposed to the current plans.

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