This update is being widely distributed to try and ensure that it covers all members of the LGPS England and Wales even where they may only one or two members eligible to join that scheme in the branch.
The Regulations changing the LGPS England and Wales will come into force with effect from 1 April 2014 .
1. Below is an important update (that was on the UNISON website News section), covering where we are on the Transitional Regulations that will set out the protections on benefits earned before April
2. Last chance reminder that anyone who has currently opted out of the LGPS England and Wales MUST rejoin immediately if they want to ensure the earnings link protection on any final salary benefits they have earned up to April 2014 ( there may be some protection for those who opt back in within 5 years of opting out). If the cost of the contributions is the problem then they should be reminded that from April there is an option to pay half their normal contribution rate for half the pension. They should approach their employer pension department and ensure that the forms to rejoin has been returned and received before the end of this month. If they are not actively contributing to the scheme then any benefits they earned before they opted out, that fall outside the proposed five year window protection to opt back in, will go up in line with prices (currently Consumer Prices Index) not earnings
We have just received the results for this years Branch Chair poll from Regional Office. The number of ballot papers issued was 289. The number of ballots cast was 56, a 19.4% turnout, and there were no spoilt papers.
We can now confirm that Richard Pentin is the successful candidate winning by 46 votes to 10 and is hereby re-elected as Chair of NED Unison Branch. May we take this opportunity to congratulate Richard and to offer our commiserations to David Illingworth.
Thank you to all who took the time to vote. See you at next weeks AGM on Monday 10th at Saltergate and Wednesday 12th at Pioneer House. Both AGM's start at 12pm.
A message from the campaign
A new petition has been submitted. The Chief Executive of Manchester City Council receives a salary in excess of £200,000 PA.
Many Chief Executives who are so happy to implement savage cuts get more than the Prime Minister.
Its time for government to cap Chief Executives pay like they are capping benefits. If you agree sign here - http://links.causes.com/s/clLgcZ?r=5UBx
Twenty-four severely disabled people are about to be kicked out of their care home. To oppose the closure sign here - http://links.causes.com/s/clLgc0?r=5UBx
The petition to stop the abolition of Disability Living Allowance is well on the way to 49,000 signatures of support. To sign here - http://links.causes.com/s/clLgc1?r=5UBx
Local government protest day: Tweet the Chancellor -Take the local government day of protest to social media as well as the streets and workplaces
Local government pay bulletin -All geared up for tomorrow?
Welsh LGA lobbied over low pay - Members from across the country lobbied employers' pay consultation meeting
Give Osborne a mouthful - Download a graphic to use on 4 February protest day - A3 poster with an image of George Osborne with a slot to post cards through his mouth and the wording 'Give Osborne a mouthful'
"Today's spending review reveals the true extent of the government's failure," said general secretary Dave Prentis after Chancellor George Osborne announced more cuts to services and attacks on wages and conditions in his 2015/16 spending review last week. "The Chancellor has got it horribly wrong," added Mr Prentis. "Despite all the promises, the austerity measures and cuts, he still hasn't got the country out of recession."We are still in the slowest economic recovery in 100 years and yet all we get from this Chancellor is more of the same."The government is losing grip on economic reality if it continues travelling down the same path, expecting to arrive at a different destination. It needs a plan B and it needs one now now.
UNISON wins historic equal pay case worth millions of pounds for members
UNISON members demolish long-running defence by Scottish councils for paying men discriminatory bonuses that are denied to women
2013 UNISON rule book
The rule book has been updated with changes passed at this year's national delegate conference
Take part in our social media survey
Just five minutes to fill in our online survey, with a chance to win an ipad mini
Schools survey reveals shocking levels of poverty
UNISON survey of nearly 3,000 school support staff reveals the shocking impact of poverty on the children in their schools
How will a raised retirement age affect you and the NHS?
The Working Longer Review wants to hear from you
Many people are being referred by Advice organisations to Foodbanks in Derbyshire. Foodbanks exist in North East Derbyshire based at Clay Cross. In early December the Chesterfield Foodbank has its official opening but it is already operating and experiencing huge demands on its resources.
Many of the Foodbanks are organised by faith organisations and they are to be commended for their efforts. But it is also the responsibility of the Labour and Trade Union Movement to offer solidarity to fellow workers who are either unemployed, low paid and/or living in poverty. Many people are being affected by Welfare Reforms including Bedroom Tax, Council Tax changes and Benefit sanctions and delays.
This online resource puts tools into your hands to stem the tide of brutal Tory-led cuts to public services. It brings together economic arguments, legal rights, publicity ideas and campaigning tools to help us fight the cuts and defend jobs and public services: Find out more at www.unison.org.uk/localgov/onlinecutspack.asp
Last weekend, members of the team alongo with over 100 other East Midlands branch acitivists, attended the 2013 Branch Officer Training Weekend at Stoke Rochford Hall.
As part of the Part-time Matters campaign the Local Government Service Group has launched an online survey at the link below:
We are using the survey to find out how much members/non-members working part-time in local government have been affected by cuts or unequal treatment. The results will assist us in developing a negotiating, campaigning and organising agenda to put part-time workers at the heart of our work. A paper version is currently being prepared and will be available shortly.
It is vital that we get as many local government part-time workers (members/non-members) as possible to complete the survey
Families become so poor they are forced to turn to food banks because of their own 'decisions', Michael Gove has claimed.
The Education Secretary argued that people who find themselves unable to buy essentials, including food and school uniforms have themselves to blame for being unable 'to manage their finances'.
The remarks were condemned by Labour and 'insulting and out of touch'.
More than half a million people across Britain have turned to food banks to stave off hunger, according to charities.
Read the full 'Mail Online' article here
UNISON is currently consulting members over the offer. Your UNISON branch will be contacting all eligible members between now and 7 June to see whether they accept or reject it.
After a three-year pay freeze and rejection by UNISON of their first offer, the employers have come back to us with a final offer of 1% on all pay points and removal of the bottom pay point - scale point 4 - from 1 October 2013. That means anyone on the bottom pay point will have a 2.4% pay increase from 1 October.
Government cuts are biting hard. Pay might not seem as important to your members as keeping their jobs or fighting cuts to pay and conditions at the moment. But it is very important that we have the views of as many as possible on the offer so that UNISON's NJC committee is clear on the next steps.
While the committee feels that the pay offer falls far short of what members need and deserve, it has decided to put the offer to members as "the best achievable by negotiation" and not reject it.
We know that the employers will not hold further talks with us or improve the offer unless a majority of our members are prepared to take all-out strike action over a sustained period.
We need to know what as many eligible members as possible think, please vote in our poll below
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