Mon 21 Mar 2005
UNISON CALLS OFF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION STRIKE
See also Pensions Campaign
pages for general secretary's message
UNISON, Scotland's largest union, today called off planned strike
action by 90,000 members of the Local Goveernment Pension Scheme
due to go ahead on Wednesday (23 March), following an agreement
reached last Friday.
Lengthy negotiations led by UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis,
led to a written statement by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott,
confirming the withdrawal of the Amendment Regulations, which would
have raised pension and retirement ages in Local Government in England
and Wales from 2005 and threatened to do the same in Scotland from
He also agreed to the setting up of a negotiating forum on the
Local Government pension scheme with "nothing ruled in or out".
At the same time Work and Pension's Minister Alan Johnson called
for a fresh start on discussions and for real negotiations on pensions
across the whole of the public sector, saying "I think we need to
take the time to get this right".
In Scotland, Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Local
Government said: "We are pleased that these discussions will allow
us to ensure the views of local government workers can be made without
the immediate threat to the pension ages of colleagues in England
and Wales, and the knock-on threat to Scottish Local Government
"We look forward to these discussions as they affect Scottish Local
Dave Prentis General Secretary of UNISON said: "The strike is off
but I have no doubt that had it gone ahead on Wednesday we would
have seen a massive show of strength and solidarity across public
"However, I am pleased that the government has listened. Our aim
throughout talks with the Deputy Prime Minister has been to have
these regulations revoked and to have real negotiations on how we
can have a viable, sustainable pension scheme that will benefit
all. We have achieved both these objectives and we now look forward
to meaningful talks on the future of our members' pension schemes.
"The commitment we have from the Deputy Prime Minister would not
have been possible without the determined campaigning and hard work
of our members. Local Government unions have presented a united
front and the support of the PCS and FDA also contributed to the
successful outcome of the talks.
"We also have to thank more than 200 MP's - 31 from Scotland -
for their active support in UNISON's campaign."
For Further Information Please Contact: Joe Di Paola (Scottish
Organiser - Local Govt) 07990 505 698 (m) Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary)
0845 355 0845(w) 07771 548 997(m,) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)