Unite says NHS staff have ‘real clinical concerns’ about increasing retirement age, which Health Secretary should discuss


Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley has been urged to involve the conciliation service, Acas in a bid to solve the public sector pensions’ dispute.

The call – from Unite – comes after the Scottish Government agreed to re-open talks later this month with the health service trade unions on the NHS pension scheme.

Unite says health service workers are already losing an average of £30 a month, since the increases in pension contributions introduced from 1st April.

PCS, Unite, UCU, RMT, the Northern Ireland civil servants’ union NIPSA are holding coordinated strike action on 10th May.

Unite announced on Thursday it was suspending action by its NHS members in Scotland because of the new talks.

Unite’s Head of Health, Rachael Maskell has written to Andrew Lansley saying: “Unite members have called a further day of action, including industrial action, for 10 May 2012, as they want you to understand how serious they are concerning their pensions.

“But their real desire is to enter into urgent talks with yourself and colleagues, and if helpful, with the assistance of Acas, to find a resolution to this dispute.

“With over 94 per cent of our members rejecting your pension proposals, having been appraised of the detail of the Final Proposed Agreement, Unite members urgently want to see the Government listening to their real concerns of the real impact of paying more and getting less in their pensions.

“On top of this, our members have real clinical and service concerns about their patient and personal safety in working above 65-years-old, and believe that we should discuss these concerns with you immediately, ahead of the commencement of the Working Longer Review group.

UNISON held targeted action in Scotland last month, aimed at bringing the SNP government into talks over a ‘Scottish solution’ on pensions.

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