Beefeaters at the Tower of London will go on strike again today over pension changes, after talks to resolve the dispute broke down.
An earlier strike had been postponed for talks between the Public and Commercial Services and GMB unions and the Historical Royal Palaces. These negotiations have failed to resolve the issue.
The Historical Royal Palaces – which includes the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace – is looking to switch from a final salary to a DC pension scheme, and is asking staff to contribute significantly more as a result.
It has put forward an alternative, but this has been rejected by GMB members.
Last month employees voted overwhelmingly to support strike action, with a result of 91 per cent after a turnout of 88 per cent.
GMB regional organisation Michael Ainsley says: ““HRP are jumping on a bandwagon which is seeing employers engaging in a race to the bottom, ending good final salary schemes and replacing them with risky cheaper defined contribution schemes.”
Meanwhile HRP chief executive John Barnes has said that this trike action will not change the organisation’s decision to close its defined benefit scheme.
Barnes adds: ““We have already offered substantial compensation and transition arrangements to the 11 per cent of our staff who are affected during a lengthy consultation.
“The benefits they have already accrued will be fully protected, and they will be transferred onto the same competitive defined contribution scheme as the other 89 per cent of their colleagues in April 2019.
“The closure of the scheme enables us to increase employer contributions to pensions for everyone by 2 per cent – an offer that is fundamentally fairer to our entire workforce.”
Beefeaters – also known as yeoman warders – have a largely ceremonial role. Their ranks are comprised of retired members of the armed forced who must have served at least 22 years.