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:-
"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
"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."