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2004 National Delegate Conference
27 February 2004
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that:

1)the UK continues to face a crisis in its pensions provisions for the future;

2)despite government initiatives such as raising payments to the poorest pensioners, free eye tests and the winter fuel allowance, too many pensioners are still condemned to live and die in poverty;

3)there are widespread moves in private sector pension provision to reduce the value of pensions to employees and to move away from final salary schemes;

4)the government is still considering changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) that would mean many local government employees working and waiting longer to receive the same benefits to which they are currently entitled;

5)linking pensions to price and not pay increases continues to widen the gap between those in retirement and those still working;

6)many pension schemes, including the LGPS, continue to perpetuate the longstanding injustice whereby unmarried and single sex partners do not enjoy the same rights as those who are married.

Conference therefore:

a)reaffirms its commitment to give the highest possible priority to continue campaigning on behalf of a fairer deal for all pensioners, including the vital necessity of linking pension increases to pay increases and not price inflation;

b)calls on the National Executive Council to give further urgent consideration to ways in which campaigns involving UNISON members can be developed with a view to resisting detrimental changes to the LGPS and other occupational pension schemes and oppose the current imposition through regulation changes that diminish the benefits through the Local Government Pension Scheme and further changes expected to affect other public sector pension schemes;

c)instructs the NEC to continue to work with other trade unions, the TUC, the National Pensioners’ Convention, the Institute of Employment Rights and other appropriate bodies to campaign for further changes in the UK employment law designed to secure better protection of pensions for workers;

d)calls on the Affiliated Political Fund to continue to press these concerns with appropriate Labour party spokespersons and representatives at all levels.