Latest Public Sector News

21.03.12

Unions defeated in pensions dispute

Trade unions have lost their battle with the Government over the changes in the way public sector pensions are altered to account for inflation.

Three appeal judges refused to overturn the high court case decision made against the unions in December.

The Government is changing the measure for calculating pension rises from the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), with the aim to save £7.5bn a year by 2014-15 on pensions.

The switch will mean cuts to future annual pension increases, with public sector workers from the civil service, the NHS, teaching, and local government.

The unions told the Financial Times that the switch “reduces the values of benefits to pension scheme members by about 15% on average”. The Government responded that CPI was “an appropriate and permissible measure to be used” and emphasised the financial savings due to be made by using CPI.

In December, the unions’ lawyers initially argued that the Government had acted beyond its rights allowed by the Social Security Administration Act. Judges were collectively in support of the Government in three of four counts, and by a majority of 2-1 on a fourth; moreover, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Government would have made the alteration despite theUK’s economic condition.

A Government spokesman said: “The Government welcomes the Court of Appeal's judgement upholding its decision to use the Consumer Prices Index for inflation-proofing certain pensions and benefits.”

The unions are now considering the next steps in their challenge, and the PCS has announced its intention to hold a national strike over pensions. General secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We will be working with other unions to build for co-ordinated national action to successfully fight these cuts to pensions, as well as those to pay and jobs that this brutal government is inflicting on the public sector.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

02/09/2019Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

In February this year, official Northern Powerhouse Partner, Cognitive Publishing, delivered EvoNorth 2019.  The two day event was designed to amplify and highlight futur... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >