Hopes raised that council staff are close to pension deal

 

Local government workers are to be consulted over planned changes to their pensions after "long and tough" negotiations came to an end.

Unions and the Local Government Association (LGA) will consult workers and councils across England and Wales, raising hopes that a deal involving council workers can be agreed.

Union officials said the proposals struck a "fair balance" between the conflicting interests at stake.

The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is the biggest in the UK and the fourth largest in the world, holding £145 billion in investments and assets, and has four million members.

Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the LGA, said: "The LGA's objective in this process has been to ensure that the LGPS continues to be sustainable into the future by developing a set of proposals that are affordable for employers and council taxpayers while being fair to members.

"Our aim in reaching agreement on these proposals was to give employers the future cost stability they need. In my view, employers can be confident that these proposals, coupled with forthcoming cost control mechanisms, meet that aim.

"Along with the LGPS unions, we shared the goal of encouraging existing members to stay within the scheme and new employees to join. These proposals are an example of us working together to achieve such shared goals."

Heather Wakefield, national officer of Unison, said: "The negotiations have been long and tough and have taken place in a demanding political and economic climate.

"The process has shown that Unison, the LGA and the other local government unions can work productively together in the best interests of LGPS members and potential members."

She said the proposed agreement promised a sustainable, defined benefit scheme, designed to protect existing members and to be affordable for the low-paid and part-time workers who are its majority, adding: "Under exacting circumstances, we have achieved the best possible outcome."

Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB, said: "GMB members in the local government pension scheme will be relieved that at long last the uncertainty is over and they are able to see the future proposals for their pension scheme.

"Jointly negotiated by employers and unions and ratified by Government, I believe the proposals strike a fair balance between all the conflicting interests we have had to take into account.

"Most importantly, I believe the proposals lay the foundation for continued sustainability of the LGPS, which Government's original proposals would not have done.

"In reaching this deal, there have had to be compromises that will affect individuals differently. That's why, after a period of briefing and consultation, GMB will formally ballot members on this joint offer so that they can decide whether or not it is acceptable."

Peter Allenson, national officer of Unite, said: "Unite re-entered negotiations to ensure that we achieve the best outcome for LGPS members current and future within the terms of reference of the discussions.

"This has been a real negotiation between the trade unions and employers and it is right that our members should now vote on whether to accept or reject the proposals."

Other groups of workers, including doctors, teachers and civil servants, are still in dispute with the Government over its pension reforms, with industrial action planned or threatened in the coming weeks and months.

PA

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior DBA (SQL Server, T-SQL, SSIS, SSAS) London - Finance

£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior DBA (SQ...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

Senior Project Manager

£60000 - £90000 per annum + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Global leading Energy Tra...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment