Local government staff were this week set to vote in favour of striking in protest at the government’s pension reforms.
In a repeat of last year’s dispute, unions including Unison balloted for action after the government refused to allow existing local government pension scheme members to retain the right to retire at 60 on a full pension (Unions to ballot over pension plans, 26 January).
The government backed down last year in the face of opposition. But it has since pressed ahead with plans to reform council pensions.
A Unison spokesperson said it expected the same outcome from the ballot as last year, when up to 87 per cent of members of the main public sector unions backed strike action.
But the Local Government Association warned this week that strikes would affect “some of the most vulnerable in our society”.
Chair Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said council tax payers “cannot pay more” and accused unions of “breaking a clear agreement” with the association and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister over the timetable for pension reforms.