Union suspends strike action and enters talks with government over public sector pensions


UCATT members have signed up to the government’s Heads of Agreement document, agreeing to further talks aimed at resolving the public sector pensions dispute.

The union joins ATL, ASCL, FDA, GMB, NAHT, Prospect, UNISON and Voice in signing. Those who have refused to sign are: EIS, FBU, NASUWT, Nipsa, NUT, PCS, UCAC, UCU and Unite.

UCATT members employed in local government, outsourced local authority contractors, the NHS, the Prison Service and the Civil Service overwhelmingly voted to support strike action in defence of their pensions and played a full role in the national day of action on 30th November.

As a result of the Executive Council’s decision UCATT has signed up to the Heads of Agreement document outlining the broad principles, which will allow meaningful negotiations to be undertaken in the coming months. It is anticipated that all talks should conclude by the end of April 2012.

Due to UCATT’s decision to sign up to the Heads of Agreement documents, further industrial action will be suspended until talks are concluded.

General secretary Steve Murphy said: “The anger and passion shown by UCATT members and all public sector workers has resulted in the government making concessions on their pension proposals. UCATT now feels the time is right to enter into detailed negotiations to seek a long term settlement to this dispute.”

Concessions made by the Government include delays in when additional contributions will be introduced, protection for workers nearing retirement, more generous rates at which pensions will build up and commitments that if workers are outsourced they can remain in their public sector pension scheme.

Steve Murphy said: “UCATT is entering into these negotiations in good faith. However, the government needs to be aware that if talks should break down or what is on offer is unacceptable, then our members can take further industrial action.”

UCATT has written to every member who was balloted in the pensions dispute, outlining what is being proposed in their own pension scheme.

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