PENSIONERS’ BEDROOM TAX

An article published in the Independent on 30 September 2016 revealed measures which will be introduced in April 2018 that will result in thousands of pensioners being hit by a new bedroom tax. This is despite the Government’s promise to protect the elderly from the hugely controversial benefit cuts. Pensioners are poised to lose at […]

EXITING THE EU – GIVING RETIRED MEMBERS A VOICE

On 23 June 2016 the “leave” result of the European Referendum was announced. Conference notes that it is expected that the two year process of withdrawal from the EU will be painstakingly negotiated between the UK government and the EU. Currently very little content of the government’s negotiation strategy or timetable has been revealed or […]

FIGHT AGAINST FUEL POVERTY

Conference notes that many pensioners in the UK are losing their lives through cold. It has recently been revealed that 43,000 pensioners lost their lives last year, largely assumed to the bad weather. Yet not one politician from any party uttered a word about this national disgrace. We repeat not one of our so called […]

CAMPAIGN TO REDUCE LONELINESS IN OLDER PERSONS

Conference notes that there is growing evidence of elderly people suffering from loneliness. By deduction, this will include a large number of UNISON retired members. Recent research has found:- • 17% of older people are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11% are in contact less than once […]

ELDERLY CARERS

Conference is concerned that hundreds of thousands of carers over retirement age receive no Carers Allowance in recognition of their efforts in caring for their sick, frail or disabled family members, friends or neighbours. In a press release of May 2016, Age UK estimates that carers aged over 80 now number 417,000, most of them […]

PENSIONS LAW – DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

Conference believes that the most iniquitous aspect of the Government’s “Agenda for Public Service Pensions” [as far as our retired members are concerned] is its intention to grasp control of, and undermine the security of, pensions already in payment. At a stroke, their intended legislation on the Local Government Pension Scheme a)removes any effective influence […]

RETIRED MEMBERS – A VALUABLE RESOURCE

Conference notes that under National Rule C.2.6.3 retired members are excluded from holding office within a branch, other than within the retired members’ organisation. When branch officers retire, at present, their “stewardship” retires with them. Many retired members have a wealth of information and experience and, in this age when people are living longer, branches […]

TWO TIER PENSION SYSTEM

Conference notes the two tier pension system that came into effect in April 2016 following the introduction of the new state pension (as discussed at Conference 2015 and embodied in Motion 5 as passed). Conference 2015 instructed the National Retired Members Committee, and called on the National Executive Council, to campaign to right this injustice. […]

RETIRED MEMBERS’ CONFERENCE – FAIR REPRESENTATION

Conference notes that Conference Bulletin, UNISON Retired Members Conference 2016, dated April 2016, included the following paragraph: Proportionality and Fair Representation The principles of proportionality and fair representation contained in the NEC’s Scheme of Branch Representation must be strictly maintained. Specifically for Retired members Conference … the gender make-up of (a branch) delegation is based […]

TRADES UNION CONGRESS

Conference notes that UNISON affiliates to the Trades Union Congress on the basis of its total membership, including retired members, and this determines the number of votes UNISON may cast at Congress. But conference also notes that there are no places for retired members, as such, on the UNISON Congress delegation. Conference finds it anomalous […]

SCHEDULE B

Conference notes that paragraph 2.2 of Schedule B excludes retired members from benefits under paragraphs 2.7 and 2.8 of the schedule. In other words, where an accident or a fatal accident befalls a retired member whilst upon union business, there is no rulebook benefit though there would be one for a full member in the […]

RULE D6.5

Conference notes that Rule D6.5 does not describe the Branch Retired Members’ Secretary as a member of the Branch Committee, rather it says she/he “may attend and speak at all (its) meetings … and may vote on (certain matters)”. This appears to leave unclear whether she/he counts towards the quorum or has the same right […]

CODE OF GOOD BRANCH PRACTICE

Conference instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee to seek the following alterations to the Code of Good Branch Practice: 1)Remove the word, “normal” from the first paragraph of 11.3.1.1; 2)Amend 11.3.14 to require the Branch Retired Members’ Secretary to be a retired member; 3)Make clear that the power of branches at annual meetings (in rule […]

INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX ON TRAVEL INSURANCE

The Government introduced Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) in 1994 at a rate of 2.5% and this has been raised at an ever faster rate to 10%. However IPT on travel insurance, introduced in 1997, has a higher rate, currently 20%. The adoption of the higher rate for travel insurance discriminates against pensioners whose health problems […]

CONCESSIONARY RAIL FARES

For many pensioners, the concessionary bus pass has been a lifeline, giving them greater independence in their daily lives and access to social and volunteering opportunities. It is a concession greatly appreciated by many of us. Rail travel is expensive and beyond the means of many pensioners. Although concessions are available giving as much as […]