Public sector pension strike goes to ballot

Public service workers across Derbyshire will begin voting this week, on taking strike action over planned changes to public sector pensions.

UNISON is urging members to vote “yes” in the ballot papers.

Jeanette Lloyd, UNISON Derbyshire County Branch Secretary, said: “Public service workers care about their jobs; cleaning streets, caring for elderly and keeping children safe.

“They know what these services mean to their local community and don’t take the decision to strike lightly. But they have been left with little choice.”

The row centres on government proposals to change public sector pensions, which will mean public sector workers have to work longer and pay more.

However, the Government says pension reform is necessary to protect taxpayers. In the proposals there would be no increase in contributions for those earning less than £15,000, no more than a 0.6 per cent increase for those earning up to £21,000 while high earners would pay progressively more.

But Ms Lloyd claimed: “These plans are not about pensions. The local government scheme is affordable and sustainable. Instead, every penny of the planned contribution rise will go towards paying for the deficit caused by irresponsible banks.

“This amounts to a tax on low-paid workers.”