- HERA Meeting
Wednesday 5 October at 13:15. 1W 3.15.
As part of the harmonisation of hours agreement it is proposed that we
work a 36.5 hour week and receive a lump sum of around £100 to cover
time lost since the original agreement date of Aug 1st.
Members are invited along to the above meeting in order to vote on the
Last week at the start of negotiations, the local government employers
announced that they want to reduce LGPS benefits and increase employee
contributions for at least two years.
They propose to:
Remove the 85 Rule from 1 April 2006. They say this is necessary under
the Age Discrimination legislation.
Offer NO protection to existing members of the scheme.
Increase employee contributions by 1% from 1 April 2006 and 2007 and review
it in 2008.
Increase the age at which benefits can be taken from 50 to 55 from 1 April
2006, four years ahead of the date necessary under the 2004 Finance Act.
To add insult to injury they say that negotiations must be concluded by
mid October so that any changes can be reflected in the November local
government settlement. This would be an impossible timetable for most
local negotiations, let alone on a pension scheme covering over 2 million
What will happen next?
The Trade Union Side is scheduled to meet the employers again on 7 October.
It comprises UNISON, TGWU, AMICUS, GMB, NAPO, UCATT and CYWU. In the meantime,
we will be meeting ourselves to work out a detailed response to their
proposals, which we have said are completely unacceptable. We are also
hoping to receive all the information on the LGPS we asked them for way
back in June and which we need for negotiations.
We have also started planning for another industrial action ballot. It
is vital that if it becomes necessary, it is carried out without hitches
and that all members who should be balloted are involved.
We also need to take our campaign out to the public. We need to tell
them that the average pension is only £3,800 and that many members
without long service and on low pay get even less. There are very few
pension fat cats in the LGPS!
The Institute of Science and Technology have recently formally recognised
a new Continuing Professional Development Award (IST/CPD) for Technical
Staff working in Higher Education. This is the first time that HE Technical
Staff have had the opportunity to work towards a qualification that recognises
the unique skills that they bring to the sector.
This 2-hour briefing session for Technical Staff (and Technical Managers)
in the South West region has been arranged free for anyone who is interested
to find out more about the qualification and what is involved in the assessment
for themselves or colleagues. It is hoped that a group of Technicians
wishing to work towards the award will then register for a longer 2 day
workshop a month or so later. The full programme for the 2-day workshop
will be available during the briefing session.
The South West briefing session is being held at the University of Bristol
on Monday the 12 of September between 10am and 12 noon (followed by a
buffet lunch), there is no charge for attendance.
- Funding for Pay - Where Did it Go? 6/6/5
Higher education institutions in England will have received almost £850
in funding by 2006, which under the terms of the new funding initiative
rewarding and developing staff (RDS) should have been used to improve
equality for all staff in higher education. Amicus is concerned that although
this money was clearly intended to go towards pay, the DFES and the Higher
Education Funding Council (HEFCE) did not do enough to ensure Institutions
carried out these objectives. It became clear that some institutions had
the first round of funding in 2001 to address professorial recruitment,
consultants, to fund new managerial posts and to expand human resource
departments. Mike Robinson, National Officer said "it is obvious
that not all
this money has not been spent on pay and equality, what is needed is a
audit of each institution to see where the money has gone and more importantly
an explanation from HEFCE about how they are going to address the shortfall
RDS and how they are going to ensure that workers get the money they deserve.
Amicus is writing to the new Minister for Higher Education Bill Rammell
ask for a full audit be carried out".
- Agreed joint statement by JNCHES trade unions following receipt of
higher education pay offer on 10th May 2005
The joint trade unions representing all staff in higher education have
today rejected the employers offer of 5% over 2 years as being entirely
All unions agree that the offer would be regarded by members as insulting.
The offer will need to be substantially improved before the negotiators
would even consider putting it to the members.
- Local Government Pensions Crisis 22/3/5
The Higher Education National Advisory Committee (HENAC) have passed
resolution saying that at an appropriate time members in the sector who
affected by the pensions proposals should be balloted. However at present
with Government are still ongoing and are looking hopeful so we will see
outcome of those talks before we move forward with the ballot. If any
affected by the pensions issue and would like to comment or discuss the
proposal please contact the Higher Education Office in Coventry on 02476-227522
or email the office at <mailto:Vera.firstname.lastname@example.org>
The move follows an eleventh hour decision by the deputy prime minister,
John Prescott, to withdraw proposals due to come into force next month
to raise the retirement age and scrap the rule allowing council workers
to take early retirement with a secure income. Read
Following a meeting between the campus Trade Unions and the University,
the issues of HERA being applied to all staff and Trade Union involvement
in the decision making process have been resolved to our satisfaction.
See above link for minutes of meeting.