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Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Mon 21 Mar 2005


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 2006.

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 workers.

"We look forward to these discussions as they affect Scottish Local Government pensions."

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 services.

"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)