PCS union members in strike ballot

Around 200 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) working for the NHS Pensions Agency are being balloted today for industrial action over the effects of plans to privatise the agency.

The agency, which looks after the pensions of approximately 1.25 million NHS staff, is one of four NHS bodies targeted for privatisation by April 2006.

The union fears that there will be job losses and changes to terms and conditions.

The Department of Health plans to create a new NHS Business Services Authority to oversee and manage the pensions agency and three others.

Joanne Leadbetter, PCS branch chairwoman, said: “The process is being rushed through without any justification. Staff have observed the fate of their colleagues in the same workplace who have already moved into the private sector and have faced understaffing and wage freezes.”

The ballot closes on the 11 January 2006.

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