Members in the public sector are balloted over pensions


The GMB is today balloting its public sector members to join the strike action on November 30th.

The ballots are made up of one covering the local government pension scheme, one covering the NHS pension scheme and one covering the Civil Service pension scheme. Northern Ireland and Scotland are counted separately for the NHS and local government.The ballots close at noon on 16th November and the result will be announced later the same day.

The ballots cover a range of GMB members employed as follows:  local councils, schools and contractors and other bodies whose staff  have access to any of the LGPS scheme; staff in the NHS; civilian staff in prisons and MoD and other industrial civil servants and staff in further and higher education. The ballots cover members in public services in all jurisdictions in the UK.

In materials sent with the ballot paper GMB members are advised that the government is attacking public sector pensions. Members are being asked whether they object to paying more to subsidise employers. They are also asked if they oppose having to work longer to get their pension. They are being asked whether they think it’s wrong to have the pension they have expected cut without their consent. They are told that if their answer to these questions is ‘yes’ then they should vote yes for industrial action

National secretary Brian Strutton said: “We have been in negotiations with government for several months about the future of public sector pensions and progress has been painfully slow. While those negotiations are still ongoing government has started implementing its plans which would mean public service workers paying around 50% more for a worse pension that they have to work longer to get. That is why we have had to move now to ballot for industrial action and our members tell us we are right to do so because they simply cannot afford what the government is demanding. No-one wants to see public services disrupted so I urge government to quickly come forward with better proposals that give us an opportunity to negotiate a settlement that is fair to public sector workers and taxpayers alike.”

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