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Unite sets date for industrial action over pension reform

18 April 2012

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Up to 100,000 NHS workers will stage a day of strikes over planned government pension changes next month.

Members of trade union Unite will join other public sector unions on 10 May to campaign against higher pension contributions and rising retirement thresholds.

The Queen’s Speech on 9 May is expected to include a parliamentary bill approving public sector pension changes.

Unite’s NHS members voted by a margin of over 94% to reject the government’s pensions’ package.

 “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,” said Rachael Maskell, Unite’s National Officer for Health.

“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.”

Health Minister Simon Burns described the news of a strike as “disappointing”.

He warned no concessions to the pension proposal would be won through the threat or use of industrial action.

It is thought a fifth of the 7% of NHS workers represented by Unite chose to vote against the pension proposals in this ballot.