Image: Dave Prentis announcing UNISON’s plans to ballot 1.1 million workers over pensions attacks. TUC conference, 14th September 2011

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Members of the local government pension scheme (LGPS) are being told not to be bullied by employers during Unison’s current ballot for strike action. In a speech to a conference of police, probation and family courts advisory officers,  General Secretary Dave Prentis says bosses should not be pushing staff into revealing how they plan to vote.

The Coalition government intends to cut police budgets by 20% by 2015.  Unison says this will mean 18,000 fewer staff, including 1,800 fewer Community Support officers – making it impossible to avoid any impact on frontline policing. fewer staff.

Members of Unison, including probation officers, nurses, social workers, teaching assistants, dinner ladies and hospital cleaners, are to vote over the next few weeks on whether to join a strike on November 30 which is predicted to be the biggest outbreak of industrial unrest seen in the UK.

“Our members are already being hit hard by government cuts,” Prentis told the conference in Chester: “So any changes to pensions are criminal.  The plans are unfair and unnecessary – the local government scheme our members save into is cash rich and financially sound. This is nothing more than a tax on public sector workers to help pay down the country’s deficit that they did nothing to cause.”

Unison says the LGPS has sufficient funds to pay all its liabilities for 20 years without raising a single extra penny from members.  The scheme has funds worth £140 billion, equivalent of 12% of the UK’s GDP – making it one of the biggest institution investors in the world.

Unison is one of fourteen trade unions and their supporters preparing for a day of mass action over public sector pensions. As many as 3 million workers could go on strike on November 30th.  More details on our Nov 30 page

Unison members are receiving their ballot papers this week, with officials expecting a big “yes” vote when the result is announced on November 3.


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