The industrial action on 30th November led to further negotiations with the government and these resulted in ‘Heads of Agreement’. The Local Government Service Group Executive of Unison has agreed to these ‘Heads of Agreement’ and they are the basis for further negotiations. Industrial action has been suspended pending the outcome of these negotiations.
To summarise the information from the national union, the key points in the “Heads of Agreement” are that:
- No changes are to be made to employee contributions until April 2014
- The normal retirement age for staff is to rise – but not for staff within 10 years of retirement.
- The Local Government Pension Scheme will move to being a career average pension scheme for service after 2014
Because these are only “Heads of Agreement” rather than a full agreement themselves, the details will be discussed at future negotiations. These will address the issues of what future contribution rates will be, what future retirement ages will be for each age group and what the details of the career average scheme for future service will be.
Should an agreement not be reached on these key details, then Unison reserves the right to take further industrial action in accordance with the mandate members gave the union in the strike ballot.