Improved offer to Audit staff ends industrial action


Improved offer to Audit staff ends industrial action

Prospect members have agreed to end their industrial action in the Audit Commission after receiving an improved offer from the Commission over their pensions, cars and performance pay.

Five hundred members have been taking action short of a strike for four weeks, including an overtime ban and withdrawal of goodwill. They were in dispute with the Commission over its failure to apply the Government’s ‘Fair Deal’ rules, which protect pensions on transfer out of the public sector.

Staff in the Commission, now being privatised, will lose their current defined benefit scheme and a cheap defined contribution scheme will be imposed instead, through no choice of their own.

Prospect Negotiations Officer Richard Hardy said although the Fair Deal rules were still not being applied, “A reasonable compromise has been achieved thanks to members’ principled stand and strong industrial action. Namely, a deferral of increases to pension contributions, the cancellation of early return payments for company cars and a productivity deal linked to the closure of the Commission.

“As a result, the industrial action was ended today.”

Paying tribute to members, Hardy added: “Members at the Commission have shown what can be achieved when they stick together. Although we have not achieved everything we wanted, we are happy to end the first course of industrial action in the Commission’s history.”

The Government last year announced it was closing the Commission by April 2013 and transferring its work to private sector providers.

Commission staff are based at its headquarters in London and at regional offices in Bolton, Bristol, Cambridge, Exeter, Gateshead, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln and Solihull.