By Kit Leary, councilworker and UNISON member in Kingston
The government are after the pensions of millions of public sector workers. They say that we are living longer and that our retirements have to be paid for.
We don’t have a problem with that. The reason why we’ll be out on strike on November 30th is not because we’ve all gone back in a time machine to the 1970s, or because we don’t want to pay for our retirements. Indeed, we already are; we are paying, on average, 10% of our salaries (which have been frozen for the past two years) in pension contributions. Our deferred salaries are going into very healthy pension pots.
What we object to – and the reason why we’re out – is because we object to being forced to pay off, with our pensions, the debts racked up by the banksters in the Square Mile. Because that’s what Osbourne and Cameron want us to do.
We don’t want any special previleges – not that we get any as it is. Our pension pots, made up of our own contributions and returns on careful investments, are ours. If these proposals go through, we’ll be paying more to get less. And how would you rather our retirements were funded – from our pension pots, or through state benefits? Because that’s what will happen.
All we want is to be able to have a reasonable retirement where we can support ourselves rather than relying on the public purse. If you, like us, think that it isn’t too much to ask, then support the Hands Off Our Public Services campaign and hep us fight for pensions justice for all.
In Kingston, we are looking to build a committee of strikers and supporters to carry forward the pensions campaign in Kingston – please contact us if you’d like to get involved.