St Andrews Links Trust warned over 'fire and rehire' plan in pension row
and live on Freeview channel 276
The trust wants workers to agree to transfer from its local government pension scheme to a much more inferior one, says UNISON.
Staff have been told if they don’t accept the new pension scheme, formal redundancy notices will be issued. St Andrews has made clear it intends to sack employees and re-hire them on new contracts and a much poorer pension.
Unless the trust scraps these proposals, UNISON says it will ballot workers for industrial action.
The golf course can easily afford to keep its current pension scheme for staff, adds the union, warning that the threat of losing their jobs is putting workers under pressure to sign their rights away.
UNISON Scotland regional organiser Ian Fitzpatrick said: “The proposed pension changes at St Andrews Links Trust are completely unnecessary. The local government pension scheme is more than affordable for the trust that's behind one of the most successful golf courses in the world. St Andrews should be supporting its loyal staff through these difficult times, not issuing terrifying threats.
“No decent employer should be using fire and rehire scare tactics. This is nothing more than a weapon to force dedicated workers to vote to decrease their retirement income.”
A spokesperson for St Andrews Links Trust said: “We have been in consultation with staff regarding updates to pension arrangements, which included a proposal to withdraw from the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in which 71 members of staff are enrolled. The LGPS was closed to new entrants in 2014 due to concerns over the increased volatility of the scheme.
“The consultation has been conducted in an open, genuine and collaborative fashion throughout and we strongly refute any allegation of threats as part of this process.
“The outcome has been to deliver a scheme which offers a generous and equitable pension scheme to all members of staff and which protects the Trust against the ongoing volatility of the LGPS.”