UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Local Government Service Group Executive Recommends Acceptance of the LGPS 2014 Proposals

UNISON’s Local Government SGE met today to consider the outcome of the member consultation on the proposals for a new LGPS to take effect from April 2014. After months of intense negotiations the proposals were released on 31 May for informal consultation and UNISON’s Local Government Conference in June agreed that a recommendation for the all member ballot should be informed by the widest possible consultation with members.

Since then lay activists across 10 UNISON Regions have organised thousands of mass meetings, workplace gatherings, e-circulars and newsletters to gather members’ views and feed them back to the SGE through Regions. The LGPS 2014 proposals do not cover Scotland or Northern Ireland.

This open, inclusive and democratic process means the ballot recommendation is, or should be, based on a clear and member-led approach. Of the branches responding some 221 showed members supported the proposals and only 26 branches had returns to reject the proposals and take sustained industrial action. In every one of the 10 Regions involved the response was overwhelmingly to support.

Not surprisingly the Local Government SGE, representing the vast bulk of LGPS members, has now agreed it will recommend that members accept the proposals in the postal ballot, which opens on 31 July and closes on 24 August.

What is surprising, though, is that a proposal was put forward by one SGE member to reject the proposals (!) and the vote for a recommendation to accept was carried by 30 to 6 (with reps from Scotland and Northern Ireland naturally abstaining). Given the member consultation outcome is such a huge majority to support the proposals you have to ask the question – where did the 6 who voted to reject them take their steer from, as it clearly wasn’t from the members?