Unite members in the Ministry of Defence and government departments have started voting in a consultative ballot on public sector pensions.
As their NHS colleagues today demonstrate after a more than 94 per cent rejection of their pension proposals, the union will recommend that its more than 25,000 members working in MoD/government departments reject the proposals, which will mean them working longer, paying more and getting less on retirement. The ballot closes on April 18th.
Unite’s members in the health service have already voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s proposals and will be staging demonstrations outside hundreds of hospitals and clinics across the UK today.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “We are calling for an emphatic rejection of the proposals from our MoD and government department members which will reinforce the clear message to ministers that they need to return to the negotiating table for genuine and meaningful talks.
“This government has already run roughshod over our NHS, and now they are doing the same to NHS staff. Unite members are saying, enough is enough.
“The public sector pension plans have little to do with affordability and everything to do with bringing down the deficit caused by the City elite.”
Lunchtime demonstrations by Unite’s health service members are part of a rolling campaign going into the spring and summer to highlight the grim unfairness of the government’s proposals. New NHS contribution rates have been arbitrarily imposed from this April.
Len McCluskey said : “Public sector employees are experiencing multiple cuts to their take home pay – pay freezes set against a backcloth of high inflation; paying more for pensions; large scale downgrading of staff, with regional pay looming as employers seek more cunning ways of cutting pay, including introducing performance-related pay.
“Hard-working public sector employees are fed-up with taking the pain and being used as a financial punch bag for a failed economic policy, which last’s week’s Budget proved once-and-for all favours the rich at the expense of working people.”