Unison will go ahead with strikes on November 30 after a majority of members balloted voted in favour of action over the Government’s public sector pension reforms.
Earlier this week ministers announced concessions to union leaders as they sought to avert nationwide strike action.
The concessions would provide transitional protection for people within 10 years of retirement and increase the proposed accrual rate from 1/65ths to 1/60ths.
Despite this, some 245,000 members balloted voted in favour of action on November 30. Just 70,253 voted against. The turnout for the vote was 30 per cent.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis says: “The decisive yes vote in the ballot reflects the deep concern that our members have over Government ministers’ proposals for their pensions.
“The Government’s statement in Parliament was a marked improvement on earlier proposals. But, it is important to understand that the statement has to be translated into offers in the scheme specific talks. We still have had no offer in those negotiations, where such an offer can legitimately be made.
“We support the TUC day of action, but will be negotiating right up to then and beyond to get a fair deal for our members.”
The Government’s reform package is based on recommendations made by former Labour Work and Pensions Secretary Lord John Hutton in March.
Hutton’s proposals include switching from a final salary pension scheme to career average, bringing retirement ages in line with the state pension age for most workers and introducing a cost ceiling for Government spending on pensions.