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27 April 2010
Unite has welcomed the Prime Minister's pledge that NHS pensions are 'safe' with a Labour government.
Karen Reay, Unite's national officer for health said: 'We also support Gordon Brown's undertaking that a pay freeze is not the best way to achieve a better NHS in the long-run.'
'The Labour Party is the only major political party to pledge that the pensions of NHS staff are safe. The other parties have been making ominous noises about what they wish to do with public sector pensions – which is to be deplored.'
'Secure and well-funded pensions are the mark of a civilised society and the fact some right-wing politicians and commentators want to take the axe to NHS pensions, which are, in essence deferred pay for years of loyal and dedicated service, is simply wrong.'
'We are also pleased that the Prime Minister has recognised that a dogmatic adherence to a pay freeze in the NHS is not the best way to attract and retain the staff needed to ensure that the health service remains one of the institutions that makes Britain the envy of the world for many people.'
Gordon Brown told nurses attending the Royal College of Nursing conference: 'You work hard for your pensions and you deserve a good one. And the reforms already agreed make the pensions sustainable in the long-term and we will stick to those. Your pensions are safe with us.'
'And while on pay, with the next few years tighter, we will be looking for restraint across public sector pay, but we don't believe a pay freeze is the way to a better NHS.'