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Unison members vote for pension strikes

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.

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So only 30% of Unison members bothered to vote.

    Yet the Union says this is a decisive vote!

    This reminds me of the Red Robbo open air meetings at British Leyland.

    All in favour? one hand goes up. Carried. All out

    70% of Unison members couldn’t care less and are obviously happy with the government’s proposals.

  2. @Anonymous – that’s a pretty strong assumption. I’d say most of the 70% knew there would be an overwhelming majority so didn’t bother to vote. How do you know your conclusion is any more accurate than mine?

    And 78% on a 30% turnout is about the same as the 36% Tory vote on a 65% turnout in the 2010 General Election – and even better than the Labour mandate in 2005. I

  3. @strummerville – well said. Assumption is the mother of all errors and there’s is far too much of that these days being paraded as legitimate fact!

  4. To a certain extent I can understand why current public sector employees are unhappy – under the Labour government when the Civil Service scheme was “reformed” a few years ago they were given a 1/45th accrual rate!

    against that 1/60th doesn’t look so generous. For the rest of us it is a good thing that Labour aren’t still i power writing cheques out willy nilly.

  5. So they are voting against a proposal that would bring them in line with the accural rate that the majority of those in the private sector still lucky enough to be in a final salary scheme have?

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