Latest Public Sector News

18.11.11

Unite joins public sector strikes

Unite has become the latest union to join the pensions strikes scheduled for November 30, opposing changes to pension contributions, and a higher age of retirement.

The turnout for the Unite ballot was 31%, and members voted three to one in favour of industrial action. They will also be joined in the strikes by the members of the Association of Probation Officers, who voted four to one in favour of action from a turnout of 45%.

The Government’s latest offer would mean that nobody within ten years of retirement would have to work longer of see their pension income decrease as a result. They propose that this is a generous final offer.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Yet again public sector workers are telling the Government that enough is enough. They have endured wages cuts, rising living costs and horrific job losses, as this Government forces the less well off in this country to pay for the sins of the elite. They are not prepared to stomach this attack on their pensions, too.

“On November 30, we fully expect millions of public sector workers and their supporters to show their disgust at the Government's plans. If the Government seriously wants to avert a long dispute and heal the divisions it is causing, it needs to get back round the table with some sensible plans for solving the problems it alone has caused.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “There is a huge responsibility on both sides, even at this late stage, to stop the strike happening. The unions need to show that they are willing to negotiate, the Government needs to show that it too is willing to negotiate.”

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