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2007 Local Government Service Group Conference
22 February 2007
Carried as Amended

Conference notes the current position in respect of the “New Look” Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and in respect of protection for those adversely affected by the withdrawal of the “Rule of 85”. This conference condemns the fact that the union’s position on the 85 year rule moved from full protection to securing transitional protection based on an age limit.

Conference does not accept that we should be grateful if pension provision in the public sector is generally less inadequate than that in the private sector. We believe that all trade unions, across the public, private and voluntary sectors, should continue to press for improved pension provision.

We note that there are members of the LGPS across more than one Service Group. We believe that coordination of action in relation to the LGPS across Service Groups and between different trade unions has recently been inadequate. In particular, we express our lack of confidence in the Service Group Liaison Committee as presently constituted as an effective forum to coordinate the defence of the interests of our members.

We therefore instruct the Service Group Executive (SGE) to establish a pensions campaign group, accountable to the SGE, and to seek the support of other UNISON Service Groups and other trade unions for a continuing campaign to seek improvements in the LGPS. Decision making in any joint bodies set up to coordinate such activity is to be transparent, with decisions taken by accountable delegates.

We believe that LGPS dispute has highlighted a number of organisational and co-ordination difficulties which need to be reflected upon, in particular how the union structures operate in a cross service group dispute, where there are different levels of membership affected within the service groups. We therefore instruct the SGE to recommend to the NEC that a union wide review is conducted into the lessons of the dispute and report back on the findings and make recommendations for future cross service group disputes.

We instruct the SGE to report annually to this Conference on progress with the campaign.