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INDUSTRIAL ACTION OVER PENSIONS AUTHORISED

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Unison will formally ballot nearly 800,000 local government workers in England, Wales and Scotland over strike acti...
Unison will formally ballot nearly 800,000 local government workers in England, Wales and Scotland over strike action against the changes to their pension scheme.

The union's strike committee yesterday authorised the ballot. Balloting will take place over the next few weeks and the result will be known on 9 March. First strike day is planned soon after.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said:

'We have told the government that our members will not accept these changes to their pension scheme and that we will take action to fight them. The average pension for a local government worker is£3,800 a year and we feel that is too low. Local government workers have very difficult and stressful jobs so forcing them to work longer, and for a smaller payout, is unacceptable. They will be working themselves to an early grave.'

Changes to the local government pension scheme are being rushed through parliament a year ahead of other public sector schemes and include:

* increasing the retirement age to 65

* the move to a basic pay scheme rather than final salary resulting in a significantly smaller pension

* employees pay more - up from 6% to 7% for the majority

* if local government workers retire at 60 they will face pension cuts of up to 30%

Background from LGC

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