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750,000 to strike over public sector pension changes

Up to 750,000 public sector workers will go on strike at the end of this month after the Public and Commercial Services union agreed to join teachers in a protest against Government plans to reform public sector pensions.

The move came yesterday despite calls from Cabinet Secretary Francis Maude for those considering strike action to avoid doing so as discussions about the reforms are still taking place.

However, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka (pictured) claims ministers have fixed the terms of the discussions to make it impossible for a deal to be reached.

He says: “The Government admits money cut from pensions will go straight to the Treasury to help pay off the deficit in what is nothing more than a tax on working in the public sector. Unless ministers abandon their ideological plans to hollow out the public sector they will face industrial action on a mass scale on June 30 and beyond.”

In March’s Budget, Chancellor George Osborne said the Government accepted the findings of the Hutton Commission which suggested increasing contributions, increasing the public sector retirement age to 65 and switching all public sector workers from final salary to career average schemes.

The turnout for the PCS ballot was 32 per cent of which 61 per cent voted for strike action and 83 per cent for other forms of industrial action, which could include working to rule.

Earlier this month Business Secretary Vince Cable warned the Government may toughen strike laws if unions take industrial action that causes serious economic damage and London Mayor Boris Johnson has called for a 50 per cent minimum turn-out for a strike ballot to be valid.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Maude did not rule out making changes to industrial relation law.


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Actuaries Hymans Robertson, calculate some 26 per cent of council tax receipts now goes towards public sector pensions, and there’s every possibility this figure will rise over the next five years, as age-related costs continue to feed in.

    I object to the Government acknowledging the demise of the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme in the private sector, then telling those workers (my clients) we all need to save more and not to expect to retire before the age of 70, while at the same time the Government and public sector unions expect private sector workers to pay taxes to fund public sector pensions so that they can retire well before 70 on a guaranteed index linked scheme for life. How fair is that?

    The public sector needs to share in the loss that the private sectors has already suffered and not expect the tax payer to fund their gilt edged schemes.

  2. Simon, I agree with everything you say. These people need to wake up and smell the coffee. Welcome to the REAL world.

  3. 750,000 public sector workers strike and hardly anyone notices.

  4. Private sector workers can no longer pay for public sector pensions.
    Private sector are not willing to work until almost 70 to allow public sector to retire at 55.
    My pay has been frozen for the last 2 years but we are all just happy to still have jobs.
    It is difficult enough to fund my own pension without contributing towards anothers.
    If public sector workers are unhappy, they can always apply to the private sector.

  5. 2.4M unemployed, 750,000 want to go on strike.

    Sack 750,000 and re employ from the unemployment list that do want a job.

  6. Public sector is last stand for trade unions and socialism. Many of us live near or know a members of the public sector who retired young and wealthy. The police retire on full pensions after 30 years and many go on to second jobs. I know of a fireman who is also a driving instructor he has so much down time. For most their death in service benefits, ill health etc are so well provided for that a private sector employee could not even hope or attempt to cover these benefits with private provision – and this is all care of the tax payer. Public sector schemes are not sustainable given cuts elsewhere in pension provision. The trade unions are about to shoot their members in the foot because they will let this golden pension genie out of the superannuation bottle and the taxpayer having seen these benefits will put a cork in it for good.

  7. These are public employees with a state granted monopoly and government protected employment. In return for this privilege strikes should made illegal. Do what Reagan did with the air traffic controllers union. He decertified them, fired them and replaced them with the unemployed. Change the law for public sector. In return for your state granted privilege you don’t have the right to strike!

    PS I consider the FSA to be public sector but with a parasitic mandate to feed off the private sector rather than the tax payer.

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