UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK




Sponsorship Comms Index Communications Forum Campaigns News Scotland inUNISON Press Releases


Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Date: Monday 03 January 05

English pensions strike will get Scottish backing

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, the public service union said today that the union was planning to consult on industrial action in local government.

The union is aiming for a one-day strike at the end of March in protest against the government's plans to worsen the pension schemes of members of the Local Government Pension scheme.

Although the planned changes that are scheduled to be introduced on 1 April 2005, only affect members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, similar proposals will be introduced in Scotland the following year, and other public service schemes will also be attacked. Whilst it is unlikely that Scottish local government staff will be able to take the strike action at the same time as their colleagues down south, supportive voluntary activity is expected to be widespread.

Dave Prentis said: "Members around the country are angry at this unwarranted attack on their pay and conditions. The recent release of the consultation document on the changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme, includes proposals for increased employee contributions, at the same time they plan to raise the minimum retirement age to 55 and the age that an unreduced pension is payable to 65.

2Here in Scotland, nearly a third of the workforce are likely to be affected by changes to public sector schemes. In addition to increases in pensioner poverty, this threat also means - increased difficulties recruiting essential workers, and possible adverse effects on the economy. Whilst the planned changes will apply a year later in Scotland, there is no doubt that if they are not stopped across the rest of the UK they will be introduced here."

Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for local government warned that the campaign by public service workers had just started but would continue "We mobilised alongside other public sector trades unions this November in a lobby of the Westminster Parliament", Joe said.

"Many Scottish branches were there to tell the MPs - who have the largest pensions in Europe - what they thought about this shoddy treatment.

"Dave Prentis has sent a clear warning to the government to expect the union's opposition - our members must be kept aware of the dangers and encouraged to present that opposition. Whilst Scotland may not be directly affected next year, our members will want to give colleagues the fullest support possible. This could include rallies, lobbies of councils and of government, and of course, UNISON will be lobbying MPs and prospective candidates in the run up to the General Election - to ask whether they support UNISON's campaign for a fair deal for pensioners."


For Further Information Please Contact: Mary Maguire, (Press Officer) 0207 338 6609(w) 07771 548 957(m) Joe Di Paola(Scottish Organiser - Local Govt): 07790 505 698 Chris Bartter (Communications Officer): 07715 583 729(m)