Staff at Essex County Council will have to pay more to plug a £674million pensions blackhole.It looks as though they are starting to realise there’s no more money in the Magic Money Pot!
The deficit was revealed in County Hall’s annual statement of accounts and will see employees having to make up most of the gap.
The figure is down from a shortfall of £800million revealed last year, mainly because councils can now link future pension increases to the consumer prices index, rather than the retail prices index, which knocked hundreds of millions of pounds off the deficit.
Across the county, councils are all struggling to plug the pensions gap.As a result of this shortfall, many councils are looking at changes to staff conditions. So, can we expect union intransigence?
Southend Council is £126million short, while Rochford Council has to find £18million.
Colchester Council has a shortfall of almost £60million, Braintree Council needs to find another £40million and Tendring Council has a pension gap of £37.85million.
Ms Whitfield has told members: “If you reject the changes, the only way we can take this any further would be to enter into a formal dispute with the employer and one of the possible outcomes of this could be strike action.Wonders may never cease!
“The branch is, therefore, recommending acceptance of these proposals as the best that can be achieved.”