Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Council workers back pension reform

Public sector workers from unions including the GMB march in protest over pensions

Council workers have voted massively in favour of a new pension scheme following a bitter dispute with the Government over its controversial reforms.

The GMB said its members had backed the new scheme by 95%, with the new terms due to take effect from 2014.

The proposals were negotiated by the GMB and other unions following industrial action last year, including a huge public sector workers strike in November, and the rejection of the Government's original proposals.

This is the first result of the main union ballot on pensions, with the GMB representing 250,000 members in local authorities and related services.

National officer Brian Strutton said: "GMB members have spoken loud and clear. The new pension scheme 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 (Local Government Pension Scheme) which, frankly, would have seriously jeopardised the £150 billion-worth of funds. That led to the strike last November which was followed by Government agreeing to a renegotiating of the offer."

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