Labour faces public sector pensions backlash

Unison general secretary, David Prentis, has written to all Labour MPs today warning them that the widespread anger and resentment at the Government’s plans to alter pension schemes for public sector employees would harm the party in the run-up to the General Election.

It comes after moves earlier this week by the NHS to raise the retirement age from 60 to 65 for health service workers.

The Government wants to base pensions on an employee’s average salary throughout their service. At present, pensions are calculated according to final salary levels.

According to the Government, the changes are about making the pensions system fairer, particularly for the lower paid, and are not a cash-saving measure.

Unison is consulting its local government members on strikes to defend attacks on their pensions and has pledged to fight attacks on the NHS scheme.

In a letter to all Labour MPs Unison general secretary, David Prentis, wrote: “The Government needs the goodwill of public service workers. The proposed changes to the public sector scheme retirement ages are already causing widespread anger and resentment amongst the public service workforce.  This would be especially harmful for Labour in the run up to the probable General Election.”

The TUC has declared 18 February as a day of campaigning against proposed government plans to make changes to public sector pensions.

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