Excluding future HE, FE and sixth form staff from LGPS (England)

Back to all Motions

2019 Local Government Service Group Conference
6 June 2019

This union opposes plans, outlined in the consultation “Local Government Pension Scheme: Changes to the Local Valuation Cycle and the Management of Employer Risk” launched on the 9th May 2019, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government , that would allow further education colleges (FECs), higher education institutions (HEIs), and sixth form colleges in England, to choose not to offer the LGPS to new staff.

We oppose this because

1) This is an attack on the pension rights of working people

2) This would lead to serious cash flow issues for LGPS funds and could impact on local services through increased costs

3) It would lead to a two tier workforce in pensions with new starters being offered inferior and less cost effective pension schemes

4) If not challenged, it would discriminate against low paid workers and support staff which will lead to many retiring into poverty with cost to the individual and state

5) This could undermine universities and colleges who decide to still provide access to the LGPS including HEIs and FECs in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

6) By not seeking the advice and views of the LGPS Scheme Advisory Board before consulting on the proposals, the governance structure for the LGPS agreed by the government is undermined

7) The proposed changes would potentially affect the future viability of the scheme – including scheme members working in Local Government, education, schools, community, housing, police and justice, private contractors and water, environment and transport. This is a significant cross sector and cross service group issue

8) UNISON is concerned that, if this change proceeds, other groups of workers may, in time, also be excluded from accessing the LGPS.

Conference calls on the Local Government Service Group Executive to work with the National Executive Committee and the Service Group Liaison Committee to organise a cross service group campaign against this proposal by:

a) Seeking support from employers to reject this proposal in the consultation which closes on 31 July 2019

b) Considering all potential avenues through which to challenge this proposal

c) Working with the TUC and other unions to campaign against this proposal

d) Lobbying MPs and Lords to oppose this and vote against any statutory changes to the scheduled status of HEIs and FECs and sixth form colleges

e) Work with other affected service groups and the Service Group Liaison Committee to consider requesting that the National Executive Committee supports the development of an industrial action strategy, up to and including balloting members for industrial action, within UNISON rules and the law.