From the TUC

Day of action announced over public service pensions

14 Sep 2011, By

Brendan Barber spoke at a press conference today, to give details of public service unions’ decisions on action to protect public service pensions, after the conclusion of Congress 2011. Unions held an urgent meeting immediately following Congress, to discuss the recent round of negotiations with the government and consider the next steps to defend decent pensions for millions of public services workers as part of the campaign for decent pensions for all.

The TUC and unions are committed to continuing talks with the government, and with the relevant employers in each of the separate major public service pensions schemes, but the government is urged to bring new proposals to the table urgently to make progress possible. Today’s meeting also agreed, however, given the failure of the government to engage properly in the negotiations, to step up the campaign and to hold a first day of action on Wednesday 30 November.

This call reflects the huge anger of public service workers over the threat to their pensions and the deep frustration over difficulties of securing government engagement in meaningful negotiations. This planned day of action will be an unprecedented coming together of the whole public service workforce and the communities they serve in a united demand for pensions justice.

Unions remain absolutely committed, in good faith, to seeking a fair negotiated settlement of this dispute so that this action will not be necessary. But the government needs to understand the strength of unions’ resolve reflected in today’s decision.

15 Responses to Day of action announced over public service pensions

  1. Mick Upfield
    Sep 15th 2011, 6:25 am

    Absolutely agree with this. Let negotiations run their course then if they fail to give us some hope in this situation, then we have to stand up for ourselves against the barrage of hits that we have been taking recently . If that means industrial action then with a heavy heart I will support it.

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  4. paul whalen
    Sep 15th 2011, 4:49 pm

    Yes – talks have to continue as required but if the Coalition is not willing to show the are ready to offer meaningful solution, then we have no option.We need to hammer home the message that the vast bulk of both Private and Public sector workers did not cause the crisis.

  5. Tina Roberts
    Sep 15th 2011, 8:24 pm

    Hi everyone

    Please speak to your friends and family about the right to a decent
    pension for everyone, both public and private sector pensions.

    This battle will be won by public opinion. Don’t let the ConDem government
    divide and conquer by pitching private sector against us public sector
    workers.

    Together we are stronger means union members with our friends and families.
    Arm yourselves with the facts and take the message out there.

    Good luck to us all! X

  6. Henley Smith
    Sep 16th 2011, 5:02 am

    I strongly support the motion for industrial action should meaningful negotitions fail

    Insolidarity

    Bro Henley/GMB Shop steward

  7. Jan
    Sep 16th 2011, 8:53 am

    What’s really shocking is the government has not provided any figures on the effect the combined changes would have on individual members: between the switch to CPI, the increase in contributions, the higher pension age, the change to career average and the cut in the rate pension is built up at, the pension that members enjoy will be slashed in value, perhaps by 50% or more. This is an unfair and disproportionate attack on public servants but Ministers do not even acknowledge it. Can the Minister tell us what the value of current schemes are (as a proportion of salary) and how his proposals compare to that? He does’nt want to provide this information because it shows the shocking effect of his proposals.How can proper negotiations take place if they won’t even be open about the figures (have they even looked at the figures??

    Jan, Prospect member

  8. jean doyle
    Sep 16th 2011, 2:40 pm

    We have to now have further negotiatons,WHY Our union leaders have been trying to have meaningful talks for months now even giving them another way which wont destroy the NHS good will.We seem to be threatening with action then backing down to negotiate.
    This Gov seem to be playing us off and playing for time. Who will come of best , not us if we are not careful.

    We can’t trust them they have gone back on promises made pre election. Its not just our pensions its the down grading of our Hospitals, closing care homes, no developments for the youth, higher university charges. all the broken promises and we are letting them have 2 months to have meaningful negotians.

    They dont understand what meaningful really means. The NHS,teachers,ambulance staff have all had enough of the let downs and making us the public pay for Bankings neglect of duty. Is patience a virtue not for some. I cant retire as pension wont last 1/2 a yr for me .

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  10. Peter Baldrey
    Sep 17th 2011, 4:47 pm

    As a teacher and union rep, I totally support the decision on the day of action. My message to all members of the public sector unions is to turn-out and vote in large numbers. This will help send a strong message to the government that they must move on their current pension proposals. Let’s approach this action in unity and together we can win!

    Peter Baldrey
    NASUWT rep

  11. Hoolio
    Sep 17th 2011, 9:09 pm

    @paul whalen : you say, “We need to hammer home the message that the vast bulk of both Private and Public sector workers did not cause the crisis”.

    That’s true, but the crisis was surely caused in large measure by unaffordable government spending instigated by the Labour party and other socialist parties in Europe and elsewhere. The banks played a part, to be sure, but today they are holding (probably) worthless Greek paper, etc., which are of course debts caused [socialist] overspending.

    I work in the private sector. For the last four years, I have paid 14% of my gross income into a bog standard, cautiously managed Skandia Life pension whose value has not increased by one jot over those four years. In other words my contributions, and the 7% contributed by my employer, have been completely wasted. I can now expect to have to work longer or make much larger voluntary contributions (undoubtedly the former) in order to keep a decent roof over the heads of my family.

    And you guys go on strike on 30th November to obtain a career average pension guaranteed by the state? A career average pension is what you get when you have a money purchase pension, but the difference is I take the risk that investments go belly-up, as they have done these past few years.

    I wish I could have what is currently on offer for public service workers. You should take the money and count your lucky stars.

  12. Joseph Byrne
    Sep 18th 2011, 8:38 pm

    I believe that we need to show these people in power that we are not going to accept all the strife they are causing within society, as we did in March, we need to march on mass to parliament half a million of us marched on that occasion and i think we would get a bigger turn out next time.
    I also feel that continuing the talks while arranging ballots, marches etc. is a must until the final hour.

  13. jean doyle
    Sep 19th 2011, 11:39 am

    This is not just about our pensions it the life of the NHS for everyone. we will be going back tothe 1920 when all those that could pay did so and those that couldnt got nothing. We have seen it portrayed in films and archive that the house wife tried to keep back a PENNY to pay the Dr or for medicine that didnt really work. she kept that so if she had to get the Dr out she had that top pay on the spot. We dont want to go back to those times and therfore I will support unions call for actions. To SAVE jobs pensions and PATIENT CARE which is what we are there for.

  14. jean doyle
    Sep 19th 2011, 11:44 am

    This is not just about our pensions it the life of the NHS for everyone. we will be going back to the 1920 when all those that could pay did so and those that couldnt got nothing. We have seen it portrayed in films and archive that the house wife tried to keep back a PENNY to pay for medicine that didnt really work.Or for the DR to come, she kept that incase she had to get the Dr out she had to pay on the spot.
    We dont want to go back to those times and therefore I will support the unions call for action.

    To SAVE jobs, pensions and PATIENT CARE which is what we are there for.

  15. Alan French
    Sep 20th 2011, 9:13 am

    I am saddened that the pensions negotiations have gone no-where. I am saddened that a government that preaches “Big Society” does not see their responsibilities to ALL of Society.
    When members I represent at the age of 68 are involved in physical confrontations with Patients on a daily basis are out of their work because they physically cannot cope any more.
    When members I represent who keep the Hospital Wards clean are working two or more jobs because the salary is frozen for years and then there’s the extra pension contributions to be found.
    In many years time when members who have put in their years of working in the Public Sector not striving for bonuses, just working as many others to pay their bills the only bonus being that they can ‘make a difference’ by the job they do. Until that pride is lost when upon retirement they find the cost of daily necessities such as food, heating and housing far exceed the pension income they will have worked all their lives for.
    Brothers and Sisters we stand together because all of the above is not fair. All must play their part including those with the Billions in the pot and the million Pound bonuses.
    OUR PENSIONS ARE NOT A BANKERS LOAN!
    I wish all good fortune in the struggle ahead if we stand as one we stand strong.