Local government unions to ballot on strike action over pensions stalemate

Local government trade unions are due to start balloting their workers on strike action over pensions reform.

Ten unions, including Unison, Amicus, GMB and the Tranport and General Workers’ Union, said negotiations with the government to protect the pension rights of public sector workers had all but broken down.

“All we are asking for is equal treatment for our Local Government Pension Scheme members with members of other public sector schemes, such as the NHS, the Civil Service and teachers,” said Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.

“We have done everything we can to persuade the government that these workers deserve to have their pensions protected in the same way as the rest of the public sector, but unfortunately the government has refused to see sense.”

Local Government Association (LGA) chairman Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said it was “deeply disappointing” that even before the consultation period had closed and any decisions had been made, the unions have chosen to look at strike action.

“It is equally frustrating that the unions appear to be breaking a clear agreement with us and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister over the timetable for the long-term reform of the Local Government Pension Scheme,” said Bruce-Lockhart.

The consultation period commenced on 5 December 2005 and was due to last until 28 February. The LGA stated that negotiations were still ongoing, despite the threat of strike action by unions.

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