Public sector pension strike planned for May
A further strike against the government’s proposals to reform public sector pensions is expected next month.
The dispute has continued for a year now, with a million public sector workers from a number of unions taking part in a general strike in November.
Members of The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) and health union Unite are now expected to down tools on 10 May over the pension reforms.
The government’s proposals include bringing the public sector pension age in line with the state pension age, increasing employee contributions and tying inflation-linked pension increases to the CPI rate, rather than the slower growing RPI rate.
Unison and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) will not be taking part in the May strike.
However teaching unions in Wales and Scotland and the University and College Union are believed to be considering taking part.
The strike has been scheduled for the day following the Queen’s Speech, which is expected to include details of NHS reforms and a bill enshrining pension changes in law.
Unite’s members, which include health visitors, pharmacists and paramedics, voted by more than 9-1 to reject the proposed pension changes.
The PCS union’s members include civil servants working in around 200 departments and agencies of government across the UK, including immigration and passport offices.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: “We would urge the PCS to reconsider their position, as this strike will not now get its members any further forward.”
The PCS is also planning further strikes by individual groups of workers later in the year.
In other pension news, the Treasury Committee is calling for the government to help pensioners whose retirement income has been eroded by lax monetary policy.
The government’s quantitative easing programme and low interest rates have penalised savers and those facing retirements, with annuity returns plummeting.