UNISON, the UK’s largest union, is calling on the Government to stop wasting time and start serious negotiations on public service pensions.
Ballot papers are being prepared and will be going out to the union’s 1.1 million public service workers in the next few weeks, with action planned for the 30 November.
Dave Prentis, General Secretary said:
“Today (14/9/2011) I told the TUC that UNISON is giving notice to 9,000 employers that we are balloting for industrial action over pensions. We will be standing shoulder to shoulder with unions across the public sector on November 30th, when the country will see the biggest industrial action in a generation.
“This will be a day of industrial action but also a day to draw communities together, in opposition to the government’s cuts. This is not about public versus private, but about fairness and preventing poverty in old age.
“We have reached the 11th hour – it is time the Government entered into serious negotiations. After eight months of talks they have failed to move closer to an agreement. I have always said that I want to reach a deal, and we are willing to negotiate any time, anywhere – but now is the time to take a stand.
“This is not a decision the our members, mainly low paid women in caring jobs take lightly – but enough is enough.”
Separating the pensions facts from the right wing fiction
- Public sector pensions are not gold plated. The average pension in local government is £4,000, dropping to just £2,800 for women – less than £56 a week. In health, the average pension is £7,500 – higher because it includes doctors and consultants, but for women it is still around £3,000.
- The schemes are not in crisis. The health scheme takes in £2 billion more every year than it pays out – this money goes straight to the Treasury, and will plough £10 billion into the coffers over the next ten years.
- The local government scheme has funds worth £140 billion. It could pay out all its pensions for the next twenty years without a single penny more in contributions.
- Health and council workers already pay between 6 and 8% of their salary into their pension – making a 3% hike in contributions a 50% hike for many.
For more information on the campaign, click here: http://www.unison.org.uk/pensions/protectour.asp