Unite threatens new NHS pension strike ballot

Protesters in London Many public servants struck in November against plans to pay more and work longer for their pensions

The Unite trade union says it may hold a fresh strike ballot of its 100,000 members in the NHS over their continuing pension dispute.

The union's leadership has already rejected a draft agreement proposed by the government in December.

In November, staff throughout the public sector staged a national one-day strike against the proposed changes.

Since then, union opposition has become divided, with some agreeing to further talks which others have rejected.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Fire Brigades Union are also threatening to strike over proposed changes to their pension scheme.

They said there would be a "rapid move" towards a strike ballot after finding the government's proposals "unacceptable".

Unite's general secretary, Len McCluskey said: "There have been no substantive changes from what was on the table before Christmas - our hard-working members will still be expected to pay more, work longer and get less when they retire."

"'Our members are deeply unhappy at the government's stance and we will be holding a consultative ballot to reaffirm our members' position - the prospect of further strike action will be very real, unless ministers move on their hardline position."

Unite said it wanted meaningful negotiations before the government's own deadline of 20 February.

State of the talks

Sector Union Reaction
Local government

Unite

Rejected the proposed deal

Unison

To continue negotiating

GMB

Has agreed to move on to the next level of negotiation. It has 250,000 members

Health

Unison

To continue negotiating

British Medical Association (BMA)

The BMA, which represents doctors, is consulting its members

Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

Consulting its members

Unite

Rejected the deal in early January. It has 100,000 members in the NHS

GMB

To continue negotiating

Education

NUT

Refused to endorse the latest offer and has called for more negotiations

NASUWT

Refused to endorse the latest offer and has called for more negotiations

ATL

Considered the deal the best it could get in negotiations, will consult members, and the executive will announce its decision on 28 January

UCU

Committee meets on 20 January before consulting members

Civil service

PCS

The largest civil service union, has been the most vocal in rejecting proposed changes to the scheme from the outset. It has threatened further strikes.

The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (Nipsa)

Rejected the deal

GMB

Agreed to continue negotiations

Prospect

Agreed to further negotiations

Prison Officers' Association

Refused to sign up to the latest deal

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