HRP staff suspend strike to review new pensions offer

Staff working at Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) suspended their strike action on Saturday (16 February), after the GMB Union said it would consult its members on a new offer.

According to the union, HRP’s new offer “improved significantly enough” for them to once more consult members on whether they deem it to be acceptable.

Strike action planned for 21 February has also been suspended while members who work at Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London consult on the offer.

GMB regional officer, Michael Ainsley, said: "We have sat down with HRP and their new offer regarding our members’ pensions has improved significantly enough that we will consult with our members on whether or not they feel it is acceptable.

"We will meet with our members, who have said from the very beginning of this dispute that they are willing to listen to offers before going ahead with any strike action. The decision is now with them."

GMB had already suspended strike action at the start of January following a revised offer from the palaces.

However, negotiations between HRP and its staff broke down at the end of the month, after an offer from the palaces reportedly left Beefeaters’ in “fury” and without an agreement.

HRP decided to close its final salary pension scheme from 1 April 2019 after closing it to new members in 2002.

However, the GMB says that staff were promised a continuation of their pensions when their benefits were transferred from the civil service to HRP.

Despite this, GMB claim that the changes will mean members’ final salary pensions will be replaced with an inferior scheme.

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