PCS launches ballot campaign on pensions strike

by - 15th February 2012, 16.13 BST

PCS has announced details of a ballot of members, recommending rejection of the Coalition government’s offer on pensions.

It says that if other unions across more than one public sector pension scheme also agree to take action, PCS will join a national joint union strike on 28 March, immediately before the first of the new pension provisions are due to take effect on 1st April 2012.

At present, the main health unions are continuing talks on the Heads of Agreement document covering the NHS scheme.

However, in the civil service, PCS, Nipsa and Unite have rejected the current proposals.

Among the teaching unions, NUT and UCU have agreed in principle to taking part in further industrial action. Meanwhile, the FBU is preparing to ballot members on industrial action over pensions.

The PCS consultative ballot will start on 24th February and run for three weeks, to Friday 16th March.

It will have two questions: whether members support the decision by the union’s national executive to reject the government’s offer on pensions; and whether members support national strike action with other unions on 28 March.

In a message to reps, PCS says 10,000 extra new members joined because of the pensions strikes on 30 June and 30 November 2011. It adds, however, that the union is also losing ‘about 2000 members every month’ because of job cuts.

PCS says it intends to continue to take part in meetings with the Cabinet Office to discuss a new pension scheme for the civil service, but will call for what it calls ‘genuine negotiations’ on core issues of pension age, contributions and indexation against the rate of inflation.