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Thousands of public sector employees will be taking industrial action across the country today against the unrelenting onslaught on their pensions by the government

Workers in the NHS and the Ministry of Defence and government departments – members of Unite, the UK’s largest union – will be joining other union members in nationwide protests which will feature a lunchtime rally at London’s Methodist Central Hall addressed by Unite’s General Secretary, Len McCluskey.

Unite believes that the coalition’s sustained attack on public sector pensions – which have seen the average Unite NHS member paying an extra £30-a-month in contributions – is part of a wider attack on the public sector, which includes privatisation of the health service, the introduction of regional pay and the continuing erosion of pay levels.

Unite’s Assistant General Secretary, Gail Cartmail said: “Tomorrow’s industrial action will build on the high level of anger that was on display during the 30 November strikes.

This anger has been increased by the government’s hardline insistence that public sector employees work longer, pay more and receive less when they eventually retire.

Our members believe that the government is attacking their pensions as a means of helping reduce the budget deficit which has been caused by a greedy City elite that has brought the economy to its knees. This is blatantly unfair.

George Osborne's austerity plans are beginning to sicken everyone.  A ‘work until you drop’ culture in this country is not because people want teachers, nurses, firemen struggling at work into their 70s.

It is because Osborne has ordained that this is the way to get ordinary people to carry the heaviest burden.  It is another attack on living standards and will make the UK, a miserable and socially divided island in which to live.

We call on the coalition to heed the lessons of last week’s local elections and enter into genuine and meaningful talks with the unions.During the action tomorrow our NHS members will be putting the safety and welfare of patients and clients first.”

The unions’ action  comes in the week that Unite, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) launched their 68 is too late campaign to increase public awareness of the impact  of raising the age when people will receive the state pension.

Written by Scott Buckler
Thursday, 10 May 2012 8:08

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