18/04/2012

Public Health Workers To Strike

Up to 100,000 members of Unite, working for the NHS, will be staging protests and industrial action on Thursday 10 May over attacks to their pensions which could see them working until they are 68.

The action will come a day after the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday 9 May. It is expected that the speech will include a parliamentary bill forcing through public sector pension changes. The changes will lead to health workers paying more, working longer and getting less.

Unite NHS members including health visitors, pharmacists and paramedics now face, on average, an extra £30-a-month to pay for their pensions, against a background of soaring household bills.

It is anticipated that Unite members will join other public sector unions on 10 May as part of the on-going campaign against government attacks on public sector pensions. The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) is meeting later today (Tuesday 17 April) to discuss taking action with other unions.

The pension campaign comes against a backdrop of public sector pay freezes, pay cuts and the prospect of regional pay. On top of which hardworking health professionals are also facing attacks to their terms and conditions and growing job insecurity.

Unite national officer for health, Rachael Maskell, said: "The government is picking the pockets of health workers by an average of £30-a-month in order to pay for pension changes which will see people having to work longer to get less. This disgraceful attack comes against a backdrop of pay freezes and the threat of regional pay in the public sector. In the face of continued attacks, health workers will be stepping up their campaign and looking to join other public sector workers in taking action on 10 May."

(LB)

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