Thursday, 16 June 2011

Pensions workers reject 'mutual' plan with a strike

Staff who work for the government agency My Civil Service Pension (MyCSP) and who administer the pensions of 1.5 million existing and retired civil servants, have said they do not want to be part of a mutual arrangement and have voted overwhelmingly to strike. The union says this makes a mockery of the government's plans and exposes their true nature of being privatisation by another name because it does not involve any genuine co-ownership.

In a ballot of the union's 250 members across MyCSP sites in Basingstoke, Cheadle Hulme, Liverpool, Newcastle and Worthing, 77% voted for a strike and 87% voted for other forms of industrial action, on a 46.5% turnout. Unlike the government, PCS has consulted MyCSP staff in all the offices and the overwhelming view was that they do not want to go down this route, and want to retain their civil service status. Ministers have refused to allow this, which would mean staff would no longer have access to the civil service pension schemes they administer.

The strike comes a day after the union announced more than 250,000 of its members will be on strike over cuts to jobs, pensions and pay with teachers and lecturers on 30 June. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka (pictured above) said: "It is ironic that the first attempt by the government to set up a so called 'mutual' is being met by a total rejection by staff. But it is not surprising, because ministers have been rumbled about their true intentions. There is a chasm between the government's rhetoric about co-operation and mutualism and what they are actually planning to do, which is to impose a decision on staff that rips up their civil service contracts."

PCS Union website