St Andrews Golf Course must withdraw ‘fire and rehire’ pensions threat to workers, says UNISON

Scotland’s largest union is demanding that St Andrews Links Trust, which operates the country’s world-famous golf course, withdraws its threat to fire and rehire around 70 staff over their pension rights.

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.

“St Andrew Links Trust board members must withdraw their vile threats and get around the table with UNISON to find a solution.”

Notes to editors:

UNISON is Scotland’s largest union. Its 150,000 members work across public services – in social care, local government, the NHS, education, emergency services, energy and water. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Around 300 employees work for St Andrews Links Trust. Seventy-one staff are affected by these changes and have been threatened with fire and rehire. Any changes to the local government pension scheme require the agreement of those in the scheme.

Media contacts:

  • Ian Fitzpatrick 07943 788528
  • Danny Phillips: 07717 715277