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27 April 2012
Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley has been urged to involve the conciliation service, Acas in a bid to solve the public sector pensions' dispute, as pressure mounts for a government re-think.
Unite, the largest union in the country, has asked Andrew Lansley to use Acas' services, after the Scottish Government agreed to re-open talks with the health trade unions on the NHS pension scheme on 15 May.
Unite, with 100,000 members in the health service, said that the coalition's draconian NHS pensions' proposals will mean staff working to the age of 68, paying more and getting less when they eventually retire.
Unite NHS members are already losing, on average, £30-a-month, since the increases in pension contributions were arbitrarily imposed this month.
This has led to Unite and the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union to hold industrial action on Thursday, 10 May to protest at the concerted onslaught on their members' retirement incomes. (Unite action by its NHS members in Scotland has been suspended because of the new talks.)
Unite's Head of Health, Rachael Maskell has written to Andrew Lansley saying: “Unite members have called a further day of action, including industrial action, for 10 May 2012, as they want you to understand how serious they are concerning their pensions.
“But their real desire is to enter into urgent talks with yourself and colleagues, and if helpful, with the assistance of Acas, to find a resolution to this dispute.”
“With over 94 per cent of our members rejecting your pension proposals, having been appraised of the detail of the Final Proposed Agreement, Unite members urgently want to see the Government listening to their real concerns of the real impact of paying more and getting less in their pensions.
“On top of this, our members have real clinical and service concerns about their patient and personal safety in working above 65-years-old, and believe that we should discuss these concerns with you immediately, ahead of the commencement of the Working Longer Review group.”