Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 17:45 UK

AA bank holiday strike called off by staff

AA rescue van
The strike would have been the first in the company's history

AA patrol staff have called off their two-day strike, planned for the forthcoming May bank holiday.

Members of the Independent Democratic Union (IDU) will instead now continue talks with management to try to resolve the dispute over pensions.

The company want to change pension arrangements for its staff because the scheme is £190m in deficit.

The new discussions lift the threat of the first-ever walkout in the roadside recovery business' history.

The current pension scheme arrangements include a final-salary scheme, which closed to new members in 2005 as well as a career average pension, which newer members of staff are entitled to join.

The company that owns the AA, Acromas, says the final-salary plan now needs further changes to be able to continue.

It is proposing two options to members. The first is to raise the employee contribution by 1.5% and limit the annual increase in pensions paid to 2.5%. The second is to raise the employee contribution by 2.5% which would then buy an annual increase in pensions of 3%.

Confidence

The IDU will ballot its members on the proposals. If they agree, they get to chose which of the two options they prefer.

Alistair Maclean, the IDU's national secretary, said he was confident the two sides would come to an agreement.

He said: "We accept that to maintain good pensions for our members a degree of risk sharing will be required."

The AA, which has 15 million members, merged with the holiday and insurance group Saga to form Acromas Holdings in 2007.



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SEE ALSO
AA staff in bank holiday strike
08 Apr 10 |  Business
Q&A: Final salary schemes
17 Aug 09 |  Business

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