Council workers to strike over pension scheme

Around 1.5 million council workers have voted to strike on 28 March to defend their pension rights, it was announced today.

The move follows government proposals to remove the right of council employees to retire at the age of 60 on a full pension if their age and years of service total 85 – known as the 85-year rule – from October this year.

Unions argue that the changes to the local government pension scheme will result in worse pensions for many low-paid workers, making them more reliant on means-tested benefits.

Workers voted to strike in a national ballot across 12 local government unions.

Tony Woodley, general secretary of the Transport and General Worker’s Union called the government’s proposals “unjust and unnecessary”.

He said: “It cannot be right that people who signed up to a contract are now being told they cannot claim what is rightfully theirs after a lifetime of work.

 “Ministers and council leaders can be clear our members will strike if that is what it takes to inject some common sense into this situation.” 

The average local government pension is currently £3,800, below the average of other public sector pension schemes.

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