Meet the Team
Prospect National Secretary
We now arrive at the next step in what has been an extensive and lengthy period of engagement between Prospect and E.ON. Negotiations have been tough, and we have been successful in securing a balanced offer with significant improvements during talks which I have been part of from Day One.
Working with senior lay representatives, your Negotiations Officers, Pensions Officers and Legal Officers we have an offer that we are recommending that members vote to accept later this year.
However, for now the most important thing is that members take the opportunity to engage with the consultation process; giving full consideration to consultation materials sent to you and making sure you attend an extensive series of roadshows to understand what is being proposed and what potential impact it has on your pension provision.
A Prospect lay representative and/or Negotiations Officer Anna Farey will be present at all Pensions Roadshows.
Prospect branch chair and pensions lead for EES and IT.
After many meetings locked away in dark rooms, we finally managed to reach a stage where we could agree alongside our fellow trade unions and the company, a deal that would preserve our current pension schemes for the foreseeable future (five years before the next planed review).
This deal has something in it for everyone, and to retain the schemes and keep them operational, we feel is a success, whilst making it affordable for all, so we’re happy to fully recommend to our members that they agree to the proposal they’re about to see.
We are entering a difficult period for our E.ON IT members as we engage with the company’s proposal to outsource some of its operation to two companies, Wipro & Infosys. This have been nearly two years in the making and now it’s time to deliver the outcome to our members while guiding them through the process they’re embarking on very shortly. All of this alongside pension and pay, some would say that there is a challenging few months lies ahead for all concerned.
But we will deal with all of this in the professional manner we’re known for.
Prospect lead rep and E.ON RUUK member for Personal Contract holders
My reflection on the journey is that if 0 was no change and 10 was the closure of the scheme to all further contributions, we’ve moved the company from 10 to around a 1 or 2.
Yes there is detriment to members but by working with the company we have arrived at a solution that keeps the scheme open and is affordable for the both members and company.
For personal contract holders, while we appreciate the cap will be unwelcome, we managed to negotiate significant improvements which would lessen the impact from the original proposal, while keeping the scheme open to further contributions allowing you to continue to build retirement benefits within your current scheme. We also secured the same 3.5% increase in pay for personal contract holders for year 1 as those within the pay collective agreements will receive.
E.ON SEWC member and Prospect pensions lead for BHPS and Field
Over several years we have watched industry pension schemes slowly changing from what some of us have been used to with regards to Final Salary and Retirement Balance Plan. Our company came knocking at the door of trade unions looking for a change to those schemes.
We all had the fear of scheme closure and that is what the company were looking at in the beginning of talks. This position was not acceptable to the Trade Unions. After nine long months of negotiation, we feel we have come to an agreed position that we can ask you to accept. This position will enable us to keep our benefits we have built over the years and add to them going forward.
There is simply no option to stay as we are, as the company has been clear that it must make changes through agreement or make unpalatable changes over future employment and the current pension schemes.
We need to make a change to preserve future employment and a company that is willing, and able, to fund pension schemes for all.
Prospect pensions lead for EC&R
This year’s pay award for EC&R differed from previous years in that it was combined with the E.ON UK pay and pension discussions.
Through lengthy discussions, the trade unions have successfully secured the continuation of the Final Salary and the Retirement Balance Plan pension schemes. There will be changes to these schemes, but keeping the schemes alive and affordable is a major achievement.
As part of the discussions, the pay rise negotiated is a two year pay deal for those on the pay collective agreements, 3.5% for 2018 and 3% for 2019. In addition, there is also a 3.5% one-year deal for the Personal Contract community for 2018.
During the forthcoming pension roadshows EC&R will have a Prospect lead representative present to support the discussions and, in addition, there is support available from the four other EC&R Prospect forum representatives.
Today in the UK fewer than one in ten pension schemes in the UK are defined benefit (DB) arrangements. Across the land employers have been closing schemes to existing members in the face of deteriorating investment returns and (the good news) that we are living longer - all of which has increased the costs of providing benefits.
Many employers have decided that they can no longer afford the increased costs and contributions.
If you are a member of a trade union you’re more likely to be in a good pension scheme than if you’re not in a union. And unions play a crucial role in protecting benefits and ensuring that any changes made to the scheme are done through negotiations with the members’ interests at the fore.
The changes that are proposed at E.ON are the result of lengthy negotiations which will see the defined benefit section of the scheme remain open, bucking the trend of many other employers.