Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Catching up with the vote yes campaign

Like Marsha-Jane, and (hopefully) hundreds of thousands other UNISON members, I voted yes right away two weeks ago.

My baby girl was born the same day as my ballot arrived - and some things in life are more important, even more so than the biggest ever postal ballot for industrial action this country.

So whilst I've been at home nesting, everybody's been out talking about the pensions dispute, and only now I'm playing a bit of catch up.

Firstly, I was glad to see the unmissable envelopes the ballots arrived in, as I'd made it my mission to make sure they didn't look like junk mail.

This morning, I heard Mark Serwotka speak on Radio 4 against "the biggest robbery of a pension scheme this country has ever seen", and our joint-union legal challenge to the arbitrary changes from RPI to CPI.

Michael Meacher has neatly summarised the case for a yes vote, and Jon Rogers has obviously been out and about vigorously campaigning for a good turn out alongside another London regional NEC member, Helen Davies.

Jon persistently raised the need for a Pensions Calculator, which is now online.

Eric Roberts puts public sector pensions into some (bite-sized) historical context, going right back to Cromwell. And Marsh-Jane helpfully explains how to use the calculator if you're part-time or work in London.

I also enjoyed reading about why we should all be 'like mosquitoes' from Roger McKenzie, who had spoken at the HE Branch Seminar last week. I'm sure I've heard the same analogy told to me by one of our activists in London Met Uni branch, who also happened to be up in her home town of Liverpool last week...

It was a shame I couldn't be there to catch up with the HE service group's leading activists, and hear how the yes campaign is going up and down the country, but like public sector pensions, paternity leave was a hard-won battle so I felt obliged to take advantage of my limited rights...

So now I've had a two week break I'm back in action tomorrow, when I'll be re-joining a huge 'yes' campaign. Every vote counts. Like Dave Prentis says, 'make your stand, and vote yes in this ballot' (see below).

If you've not got a ballot paper yet, and you're in the LGPS (rather that SAUL or USS), then call up the Pensions hotline: 0845 355 0845

If we're successful, as I'm confident we will be, then I'll see you out on 30th November.

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