16 January 2013
Pensions: where are we now?
28 03 2012
The Royal College of Nursing has conducted its own all member vote on pensions and is now currently meeting other unions who are at varying stages in their own member consultations to discuss next steps. The decision to continue engagement with other trade unions was taken by the RCN Council following the end of the member vote in February.
65,759 votes were cast in total, with a turnout of 16.17%; 41,009 members (62.36%) voted to reject the Government’s proposals, while 24,533 members (37.30%) voted to accept the proposals. The proposals that members voted on in January and February are essentially the same as those that are being voted on by other unions now.
Professor Kath McCourt, Chair of RCN Council, said at the time: “Council met today to hear the results of the member vote on NHS pensions and to consider the next steps. While the members who voted expressed a clear view, showing their anger at the government proposals, we are disappointed that more of our members did not take the opportunity to vote. We will now, as a matter of urgency, meet with other unions who are at varying stages in their own member consultations.”
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter added: “Throughout this process, our members’ number one concern about pensions has been the prospect of working in a physically demanding job until the age of 68; which is due to take effect in 2046. The Government has acknowledged the physical demands of professions such as the police, who are not facing the prospect of working until they are nearly 70. We vehemently believe the demands of nursing mean that the same should apply to our profession and we are committed to stepping up campaigning on this issue to make the Government change its mind.”
Dr Carter continued “It’s clear when I listen to nurses from around the UK, that the pressures facing them are immense; not just on the pensions issue, but also the prospect of a massive NHS reorganisation, the threat of redundancy, a pay freeze and deteriorating staffing levels. Despite all this, nurses and health care assistants continue to put the interests of their patients first. That’s why they were so dismayed when the Secretary of State for Health attributed our opposition to the Health and Social Care Bill to simple self-interest on the pensions issue. The anxieties of our members continue, and we will continue to speak up on their behalf.”
There are a number of resources you can still access on our website to inform you about the pensions offer. You can calculate what you pensions will be and what contributions you will need to make here: