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Date: 27 March 2006

Scotland set for biggest strike since 1926

UNISON, the largest Scottish Local Government union today issued details of the Scottish events and rallies planned for the UK-wide one-day-strike scheduled for Tuesday (28 March).

The union said it anticipated strong support for the action amongst its 100,000 Scottish members affected by the government's threatened attacks on their pensions. UNISON members, along with members of 5/6 other unions in Scotland, voted by an 80% majority to start a programme of Industrial action, after the unilateral announcement of cuts in the Local Government Pensions Scheme by Tom McCabe MSP, the Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform.

Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary, said "All our indications are that this strike will be solid and well-supported. Members are incensed by the discrimination being pursued by the government against members of the LGPS. Forcing low-paid and hard-working public servants to work till they drop or take cuts in the pensions they have paid into all their lives cannot be fair, reasonable or in the best interests of public service.

Details of the variety of marches, rallies and events taking place across the country are attached, and are also available on the website of UNISONScotland.

Matt Smith, will be addressing the rally on Glasgow Green at 12.30pm tomorrow. Any details, requests for interviews or case studies to Chris Bartter, contacts below.

ENDS

Rallies, marches and events

Aberdeen - March and Rally (Contacts Emma Phillips, Isobel MacNicol, Betty Lyons 01224 620 624) 10.30 Assemble Rubislaw Terrace Gardens, 11.00 March down Union Street, 11.45 Rally at Castlegate Speakers to be confirmed but will include Kate Ramsden and Karen Donnelly (both UNISON)

Dumfries Rally organised by Local TUC (Contact Colette Taylor 01387 760 695) 11.00 - 12.00 Jay Kays, English Street

Dundee 11.00 Assemble Hilltown Park, (Contact Rory Malone 01382 224948) March to City Centre.12.00 Rally with guest speakers, Rory Malone, and other TU speakers

Edinburgh (Contact Monica Niven 0131 220 5655). 11.30 Rally for 200 to present joint letter to the Scottish Parliament 12.00 Assemble Market Street (New Street end). 12.30 March off along Waverley Bridge, Princes St., Kings Stables Road.13.30 Rally at Ross Bandstand, Princes St Gardens.
Speakers: Chair: John Stevenson (UNISON), Alex McLuckie (GMB), Jimmy Farrelly (TGWU), Sandra Kenny (STUC Womens Committee), Hugh Scullion (Amicus).

Glasgow March (Contact Liz Plazalska 0141 552 7069) 11.30 Assemble Blythswood Square.12.00 March to Glasgow Green via West Regent St, Renfield Street, Union Street, Argyle Street, Queen Street, George Square, High Street, Saltmarket, Glasgow Green. Speakers: Matt Smith, Mike Brider (TGWU), Harry Frew (UCATT) and other TUs, John Keenan (STUC)

Kilmarnock. (Contacts Arthur West 01563 554 580) To be confirmed, Probably Rally Kilmarnock Cross 12.30 - 1.30 Paisley - contact Mark Ferguson 0141 842 5559 Early - Picket Duty - Cotton St. HQ Pickets from 7.45am 9.15am -Assemble at Town Square - off Mill Street behind HQ North Bldg 9.45am

March & Rally in Paisley - March to County Square for Rally 11.00am transport to Glasgow for March

Inverness Balloon launch - 85 balloons at Falcon Sq.(Contact Ken Matthews 01463 715 891) Low Paid Female worker to speak. Details correct at time of going to press - contact organisers for up-to-date information.

Stornoway 12.30 assemble at the Comhairle offices 12.45pm March to main arena outside An Lanntair(Art Gallery, Stornoway town centre) 1.00pm - release 85 helium balloons. Speaker - Neil Henderson, Branch Organiser(more could be added)

Note for editors:

The LGPS covers employees of Local authorities, police and fire authorities, Colleges and some universities, Scottish water, SEPA, the Care Commission, Childrens Reporters and Careers Scotland. Some Community and voluntary organisations are also covered. Separate pension arrangements cover Teachers and lecturers, NHS staff and civil servants, police officers and firefighters. These have already had a commitment to protect their early retirement provision.

For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith(Scottish Secretary) 0845 355 0845(w) 07771 548 997(m) Joe Di Paola (Scottish organiser - Bargaining) 0845 355 0845(w) 07958 121 861(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)

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