Prescott to hold private talks with unions over pension age change

Five public sector unions will hold private talks with deputy prime minister John Prescott at Labour’s spring conference in Gateshead this weekend in a bid to avoid strikes over pensions reforms.

The unions are calling on the government to stop forthcoming regulations which would see the pensions age for local government workers rise from 60 to 65.

Unison said a majority of its 850,000 members it had consulted, supported a full vote for industrial action. If the unions decide to strike, up to 1.4 milliion people could take industrial action.

A spokesman for Prescott told the BBC that the changes to the local government pension scheme would have to go ahead in April.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said: “If you want the pension you were promised when you started you must work for an extra five years – that is working until people drop. In the 21th century, it is completely unacceptable.”


Michael Millar

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