Local government strike called off

Unison today called off the planned strike action of 800,000
members which was due to go ahead this Wednesday following an
agreement with John Prescott, writes Maria

After three weeks of intensive negotiations, the deputy prime
minister announced that he would revoke the proposed April 2005
changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme “at the
earliest Parliamentary opportunity.”

The government had planned to raise the retirement age for local
government workers from 1 April from 60 to 65 and scrap the rule
allowing them to take early retirement with a secure income.

Prescott also agreed to establish a new negotiating body to deal
with the long-term future of the scheme.

Unison and unions Amicus, the GMB, T&G and UCATT welcomed
the move and all have decided not to go ahead with the strike.

Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary said: “The
commitment comes from the top level of government and shows social
partnership at its best. We look forward to entering into real
negotiations about the future of the pension schemes.”

Jack Dromey, T&G general secretary said: “One million
workers need no longer fear poorer pensions from April 1. Now we
can negotiate with government, central and local, a sensible
long-term solution ensuring security and dignity for the
nation’s public servants.”



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