Magazine article Public Finance

Unison Set for Fresh Pensions Fight

Magazine article Public Finance

Unison Set for Fresh Pensions Fight

Article excerpt

Pension reform returned to the top of the political agenda this week, but the government and public sector trade unions remained on a collision course over the issue.

Dave Prentis, leader of Britain's largest public sector union, Unison, warned that his members would take strike action if the government reforms public sector pensions by slashing payments.

Unison, he said, played a major role in forcing the government's pre-election climbdown over plans to raise the pension age in line with the private sphere to 65, and to restructure payments and contributions. One plan is to remove lucrative final salary schemes from the civil service.

Prime Minister Tony Blair delayed the public sector reforms to prevent strikes before the general election and has since promised fresh discussions.

Speaking at Unisons national delegates conference in Glasgow on June 20, Prentis said: 'The government got it wrong. It underestimated our members' anger at plans to break the pensions promise. It underestimated our members' outrage at the blatant hypocrisy of politicians who voted themselves the best pensions in Europe while attacking ours. …

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