Society agrees to consider new government offer on pensions

As Frontline went to press, the CSP and other health unions had received a new offer from the government on its controversial pension plans.

‘CSP members are quite rightly angry about the cavalier approach to their pensions taken by the coalition government,’ said Lesley Mercer, director of employment relations and union services.

‘Their anger was clearly shown by the solid support for the day of action on 30 November.

‘Their action has undoubtedly helped to secure some improvements to the original offer from the Treasury in a very difficult negotiating climate.’

The government’s final offer will now be considered early in the new year by the society’s industrial relations committee, who will also consider how members are going to be consulted.

The following proposals are among those the unions have secured as a result of the strike action:

  • Protection for the pensions of staff who are within 10 years of their normal pension age, including those who have ‘special class’ status of pension
  • The introduction of an improved accrual rate, compared to the original proposals
  • An extension of the current Fair Deal arrangements, to protect the pensions of staff who transfer out of the NHS as a result of competitive tendering.

The government continues to insist that NHS staff’s pensions should be brought into line with the state pension age.

But the CSP has secured a review with NHS Employers and the Department of Health on the impact this will have on staff working in physically demanding roles.

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Lynn Eaton

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