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Date: Tue 28 Feb 2006

UNISON calls for pensions rethink

Matt Smith, Scottish Secretary of UNISON ­ Scotland's public service union ­ will urge Scottish members of the Local Government Pension Scheme(LGPS) to vote for industrial action over attacks on their pension rights today (Tuesday). He will also urge the Scottish Executive, and the UK government not to proceed with unilateral plans to attack the pensions of low-paid LGPS members

Speaking at the AGM of the unionıs Dundee City branch today, Matt Smith will say

"At this last weekendıs Labour Party Conference, Tom McCabe gave a commitment to test his legal advice again in the face of an overwhelming vote of support from the party. That legal advice has not been made public, and government claims that the changes are needed by European legislation are denied by an EU spokesperson.

"We now need an overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action from our LGPS members, to show governments ­ both north and south of the border ­ the huge depth of resentment this is creating in loyal public servants.²

The union is balloting over 100,000 members across the public services in Scotland; the LGPS covers staff working for the police and fire service, Scotlandıs colleges and some staff in universities, Scottish Water, SEPA and other central agencies and the community and voluntary sector, as well as local authorities. The ballot is currently taking place across the UK and is due to finish on 10 March. Ballots are also underway in other unions with affected members ­ the T&GWU, GMB, UCATT and others.

Matt Smith will be speaking at the AGM of the Dundee City Branch, which takes place in the Marryat Hall, City Square, Dundee at 5.30pm on Tuesday Feb 28. There will also be a meeting at lunch time - 12.20 to 2.00pm. The meetings will also debate difficulties surrounding equal pay and single status and this years pay claim.

Rory Malone, UNISONıs Dundee City Branch Secretary said

"There is discrimination here, discrimination against low ­paid LGPS members, who are the only public sector staff NOT to have a guarantee to retain early retirement on an unreduced pension. The LGPS is part of the contract that members accepted when they joined local government ­ they are angry that a unilateral attack on their pay and conditions is to be imposed ­ despite there being little or no justification. We fully expect a large YES vote."


For Further Information Please Contact:

Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary) 0845 355 0845(w) 07771 548 997(m)
Ray Russell (Comms Officer ­ Dundee Br) 07946 170780(m)
Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)