Monday, July 28, 2008

LGE agree to reopen negotiations!!

The employers ( LGE ) have approached UNISON for discussions on the proviso that no dates are fixed for further industrial action. Before the strike the LGE were adament that further negotiations were pointless as they had nothing to discuss. Who says strike action doesn't work! The meeting is to take place on the 13th August. In the meantime branches are to be consulted on what forms of industrial action they consider to be appropriate.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Strike Action 16th - 17th July

The Branch Officers would like to pass our thanks and congratulations to all our members who supported the strike action over fair pay. The strike was extremely well supported and we anticipate over 80% of DMBC staff supported the strike over the 2 days. These figures are similar across the region.

Doncaster held one of the best demonstrations in the region with over 500 members meeting at the Mansion House and marching around the town centre. I’m sure everyone who was there will agree it was good-natured and had a carnival atmosphere, with many members carrying balloons and blowing whistles.

The only negative aspect of the dispute has been the abuse and aggression of certain strike-breakers who are clearly disappointed at the success of the action. We would like to praise those who attended picket lines and would especially like to congratulate them over the way they showed restraint when being intimidated by strike-breakers.

If any members feel they are facing bullying or intimidation back in the workplace due to taking lawful industrial action, they need to contact the branch office or local shop steward immediately.

What next? I hear you all say. Well, we need to keep up the momentum over the next few weeks and I would ask all of you to contact your local Councillors and demand that they put pressure on the Local Government Employers to come back to the negotiating table. The employers in Northern Ireland have agreed to re-open negotiations so why can’t they in England & Wales?

There is no doubt that we have had one of the most successful two days of action Doncaster has ever seen and its thanks to all of you who participated. A trade union branch is only as strong as its members and this proved we have a very strong branch indeed!
Well Done!
More photos can be found on the national and regional websites and the Doncaster UNISON Blogspot!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Advice from the South Yorkshire Pension Scheme.


Due to the proposed industrial action many members are concerned about the effect that any absence may have upon their pension rights. In short, the number of years and days used to work out the benefits are reduced by any days of strike action which have not been paid for. Although any absence not paid for is recorded on our pension records as a break of service, it does not affect any pension rights built up before or after the absence.

However, there are further points that need to be made. . The eventual loss of benefits depends upon the number of days absent and the rate of pensionable pay in their year leading up to retirement. . If the absence falls in the last 12 months of membership, the pensionable pay used to calculate benefits for a member who leaves within 12 months of the end of the strike period could be very marginally higher/lower than it would otherwise have been.

For each day a member is on strike, this will extend by a day the date when a member attains 3 months membership, this being the period of membership necessary to be entitled to a benefit under the Scheme (this will be of no relevance to you if you already have more than 3 months membership).

In some cases, extended by one day the date when a member could retire before age 65 on an unreduced pension (i.e. add one day to the date on which a member’s combined age and membership in the Scheme, both in whole years, add up to 85 (known as the “85 year rule”).


If the member’s pensionable pay at retirement is £16,000 per year and at 65 the member would have built up 24 years membership with no loss of membership due to absence:

Pension = 24 years x 1/60 x £16,000 = £6,400 per year

The same member at age 65 with 2 days absence:

Pension = 23 years 363 days x 1/60 x £16,000 = £6,398.54 per year.

The member in this example would lose £1.46 per year from their pension for 2 days absence.


A member of the Scheme who is absent as a result of a trade dispute can elect to buy the period back at a rate of 16% of the pay lost. As an example of what this means: say the above . is on strike for two days . and would have earned £123.08 in two days . and elects to buy back the absence this member would see a deduction of £19.69 on their payslip in respect of the 16% contribution.

An election to buy back the membership must be made within 30 days of the last period of absence. If you wish to make an election please complete a Form 21. Please note that, regardless of whether or not you decide to pay the 16% contribution to count the strike period as a period of membership in the pension scheme, any additional contributions you may be paying to purchased added years of membership, to uprate any pre 1 April 1972 membership to provide a greater lump sum on retirement, or to purchase extra additional pension by way of Additional Regular Contributions (ARCs), will continue to be collected from your pay.

If you are paying Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) to provide additional life cover we will assume that you would not wish the life cover to lapse and so continue to deducted these contributions from your pay.