Here's latest bulletin, much re pensions...
VITAL MEETING, BUT NO QUESTIONS ALLOWED!
Why were these round-the-clock union meetings last week arranged so that we had no time for questions? It turned out that the reason for the meeting (which the flyer didn’t explain) - the attack on our pensions and our future conditions of work - was of vital importance. Yet there was no time at all to discuss!
THEY WANT US TO BLINDLY AGREE WITH THEM
So Terry Pullinger wants us to send a postcard to "Moya" to protest against the attack on our pensions?! This is the politics of the infants school! But even worse, the round-the-clock meetings provided no details of the "CWU's proposal for a united DB scheme for all CWU Royal Mail employees" even though we're meant to sign a postcard asking "Moya" to "accept this proposal"!! We're just supposed to trust blindly, that the top union leaders are acting in our interests? But based on previous experience, how can we?!
THIS ISN’T A DB SCHEME...
So, just what is this alternative CWU "United Defined Benefit Scheme" which they’ve already submitted to RM bosses, without so much as a "by your leave" to the members? The only hint we have, so far, is from the press. And it seems pretty clear that this scheme will NOT define the pension we’ll get on retirement, as they say!
...IT'S NEITHER FISH NOR FOWL
The Financial Times for instance, says: "instead of offering a long-term guarantee on the level of retirement income, the CWU's plan envisages an annual assessment of investment performance to decide whether a 'core promise' is increased in line with inflation".
So this isn’t a "pure" defined benefit scheme. There's only meant to be a "core promised" pension - and it's only if the "investment" (in bonds or shares) performs well, that it’ll increase with inflation. It might not. The compromise for RM is that it has to share some of the financial risk, unlike in a normal DC scheme where the employee takes all the risk. What’s better than now, is the inclusion of present DC members in a better scheme. But couldn’t we fight for a proper DB scheme for all?
THE "UNION WAY" IS A GENEROUS WAY
There's possibly something ominous here. The CWU's pension alternative scheme is for "CWU Royal Mail members" - so what if you're not a CWU member? Some CWU reps always looked after non-members (especially temps or part-timers) because they rightly felt it was their duty to their fellow workers and a way to encourage "doubters" to join a union. That's the best way to recruit members!
CUT THE HOURS, RAISE THEPAY!
We see, however, that the 35-hour week has, at long last, been resurrected from the dead - with a demand for full-time jobs for all those who need them! Yes, we agree!
BTW, SHAREHOLDERS ARE GREEDY!
As if we didn’t know, we were "reminded"at the union meetings that RM’s big shareholders are after big money! Are union leaders only just discovering this?? Apparently they thought they got such a great "legally binding agreement”, (which only binds us, hand and foot!) at privatisation, that they didn't even need to call a strike against it. And now they want it "extended"!!?
YET MORE AMAZONIZING OF RM?
Included in the list of attacks RM is preparing, is the possibility that the first 3 days of sick leave might be unpaid?! We couldn't believe our ears. And the bosses who come up with this are regarded as "partners"?
HMP LIVING UP TO ITS NAME?
And then there is this fingerprinting ID for entering and leaving - that is, clocking in and out. So they will be able to monitor us even further, knowing exact timings of everything we do and thus pay us only for the exact time we work, no more? Yes, on top of the monitoring done with the PDA and scanning devices! What next ? And will it also help them get rid of even more door-keeping jobs? This is not going to be accepted either!
As for the finger-scanning as it is now at HMP - we're still not being taught properly how to do it. Sometimes it takes us 20 minutes to get the damn thing to work and then we forget to enter crucial information on total items scanned - which can seriously cock up the works!
GET THE INSECTICIDE SPRAY
On night shift, we had a last minute N1 load that came out of the dark blue sky. Still, we stayed over to clear it out, which B the Bee was quick to forget! He made a huge buzz over us taking a later start next night to compensate. So on top of his obsessions, has Bee also got amnesia?
HOW HMP BOSSES APPRECIATE THEM
Oh dear, the JV6.5s are to all be made back into ordinary grades? That’s how HMP thanks its aspiring Screws. It’s just not fair, is it? But seriously, how can they expect workers (which is what they are, after all) to just take a substantial pay cut, all of a sudden?
Apparently that was Moya Greede’s Right Hand visiting here last week, on International Women’s Day. Indeedy, Boss Moya’s meant to be an example of “what women can do”! They said that about Margaret Thatcher. But what’s it got to do with being a woman? An exploitative profit-seeking capitalist boss is an exploitative profit-seeking capitalist boss. No?