Last week Unite Executive Council ratified the new structure for retired members including the new retired members plus scheme costing 50p per week.
The council was asked to consider the option for retirees who are members of a Retried Members Branch to be allowed to still hold office in their former branch on a ex-officio basis.
This was rejected unanimously by those present as it was generally thought that this would cause confusion and it would appear to be allowing membership of two branches.
The details of the structure for retirees is below:
From 1st April 2012 newly retired members and community members will pay the same - 50p per week. Active retired members are now defined as "Retired member plus". They will have the right to benefits, and to take part in the retired members' structure, as well as the right to vote in General Secretary elections.
Free membership for retired members will still be an option after 1st April.
Existing retired members who are free card holders will remain so if they choose. They will be able to participate in the retired members structure, but will not be entitled to benefits. They will have the right to vote in General Secretary elections.
Newly retired members who choose not to pay a fee will neither attract the right to benefits nor the right to participate in the retired members structures - but they will be able to vote in General Secretary election.
Retired members who are Branch Officers of working branches will continue to pay full membership contributions.
Retired members can choose to remain in the branch in which they were a member of, or a retired members' branch or a community branch. They cannot be members of more than one branch.
"Retired member plus" members - just like community members in a community branch - can hold office within the retired members' branch, whilst paying 50p per week.
Historic free card members (pre-1st April) cannot continue to hold office in retired members branches or elsewhere but can participate in the structure.
There is now a Retired Members Representative on the Executive Council with observer status. This person was elected by the Retired Members Association.