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CIVIL SERVICE UNION IN STRIKE BALLOT OVER PENSIONS

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The Public and Commercial Services Union announced today that it would be balloting up to 290,000 public sector mem...
The Public and Commercial Services Union announced today that it would be balloting up to 290,000 public sector members on strike action over government plans to compulsorily change the public sector pension age from 60 to 65.

The government plan to raise the pension age for the civil and public services comes just over two years after previous changes to the civil service pension scheme and will force people to work longer to get their expected pension. The plans, which have been met with scepticism and created great uncertainty and anger, will also see an end to the final salary pension scheme.

The move follows announcements by Unison, TGWU and Amicus of their intention to ballot local government workers on strike action over changes to their pension schemes (see LGCnet) and raises the possibility of strike action by central and local government workers on the same day. Other unions are expected to decide on whether to ballot for strike action on the same subject next week. The PCS ballot is expected to close on or around March 10.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:

'Faced with the prospect of people being denied real choices about retirement as the government refuse to negotiate over forcing civil and public servants to work longer to receive their pension entitlement we will be balloting our members on industrial action. The average civil service pension is just£4,800 per year and for many thousands civil and public servants they are seeing their contracts with their future torn up in front of their eyes.

'With thousands of hardworking civil and public servants already facing the axe and increasing insecurity over their futures the government's forced pension age rise comes as a double whammy. We urge the government to engage in meaningful negotiation and think again about forcing people to work an extra five years and give people real choices about their futures.'

Notes

PCS is the union representing civil and public servants in central government. It has more than 320,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies. It also represents workers in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC.

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