Government's pension offer fails to prevent strike action

Public sector union Unison has given the 'green light' to strike action despite the government's consession on public sector pensions.

Unison has authorised industrial action on 30 November
Industrial action is set for 30 November, following a ‘yes’ vote by 76% of Unison members announced on Thursday on a ballot for action.

Unison said the government’s most recent offer on pensions, to increase the cost ceiling and give a fairer deal to those within 10 years of retirement, was a ‘marked improvement’.

However the union said that it was yet to receive a scheme specific offer and therefore it has authorised industrial action on 30 November.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of UNISON said:  We have no offer in either the local
government or the health pension schemes that we can put to our members.

‘What we do have is an overwhelming yes vote in a legal ballot. And our democratic committees have taken the decision to authorise action with the TUC in line with the wishes of our members.’

NHS Employers described the any consideration of industrial action as ‘premature’ and warned that action could cause ‘delays’ and ‘distress’ for patients.

Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation, said that the majority of NHS staff did not take part in the vote.

‘NHS staff are passionate about the care of patients and are reluctant to withdraw their labour. This is reflected in the low number of NHS staff turning out (25%),’ Mr Royles said.

'If on this turnout, the unions did decide to press head, that would cause delays in treatment and distress to patients. I would urge all sides to keep on talking and we will play our part in that. It is premature to consider industrial action before discussions have concluded, particularly with a revised offer newly on the table.'

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