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STUC 2012



Pensions: NHS talks start but action not ruled out

Lilian Macer
Lilian Macer

UNISON's Lilian Macer told the STUC that NHS workers in Scotland were starting talks on pensions but warned, "We will talk - basing our case on decency and farness but as Mike Kirby said yesterday - if the force of argument fails we will use the argument of force".

After public service union delegates followed one after the other to slam the attacks on pensions, Congress back a motion calling for the STUC to:-

  • Continue the ‘Fair Pensions For All’ campaign, countering the lies about ‘Gold Plated Public Service Pensions’
  • support unions who remain in dispute and continue the campaign through industrial action

"Pensions are the biggest and best condition of service our members have. It is the biggest thing that privatised workers are denied", Lilan told delegates.

"Lack of pension and poor pension provision lead to poverty in old age and social deprivation. And In the long term costs the taxpayer money. That is why we, as a movement, rose up on 30 November, in defence of pensions .

"The best day of my trade union life. Unions across the public sector standing together, shoulder to shoulder. From Stornoway to Dumfries, working people said - “you will not steal our pensions from us”.

"But we are talking", said Lilian, "Negotiations are beginning in NHS Scotland. As a result of UNISON Strike action in Ayrshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Lanarkshire Nicola Sturgeon came to the table at a recent meeting of the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee."

In early May, All of the NHS TUs will start a series of talks to deliver a Scottish solution to Health Pensions.

But Lilian warned, "The fight is not over and we still need to support each other in the action we take", added Lilian.

"The biggest part of the pensions scandal is increased employee contributions from April salaries. Thousands of public service workers will feel the hit in their pay packet – as a worker in the Health Service I will have my pay cut by 2.4% this month."

"Anger, amongst our members will rise, and we have a duty to respond to that anger and deliver the best outcome possible in Scotland. We will negotiate to the best of our abilities, but our members expect us to see this campaign through to a decent conclusion."

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