Unions call on minister to suspend nuclear pensions consultation


Nuclear industry unions call on minister to suspend pension consultation

Unions representing workers in the nuclear sector will meet the minister for industry and energy, Jesse Norman, tomorrow (Wednesday) to urge him to suspend a consultation on detrimental changes to their members’ pensions.

Sellafield nuclear site

Prospect deputy general secretary Dai Hudd outlined significant problems with the consultation in a letter to the minister on behalf of the joint trade unions ahead of the meeting.

Hudd said the consultation process was not good enough and it should be suspended until the issues raised were resolved.

The letter outlined the main problems with the consultation process:

  • confusion about who is responsible for analysing and collating responses to the consultation
  • poor quality of information which prevents members understanding the impact the proposals will have on them
  • lack of an equality impact assessment for the proposals.

“Any one of these problems would be a major cause for concern, but to experience them all in a single consultation is unprecedented in my experience.

“Members need much more, and much better, information in order to respond properly. The only appropriate action now is to suspend the consultation while the issues identified are resolved,” said Hudd.

The joint trade unions (Prospect, GMB, Unite and Aslef) have already agreed a number of steps to defend members’ pensions including raising it as an issue in the upcoming Copeland by-election and considering plans for industrial action if detrimental changes are imposed.