Monday, April 30, 2012

Health pensions ballot result

UNISON's ballot of health service members over the Government's derisory "work longer, pay more, get less" "final offer" on the NHS Pension Scheme closed on Friday, and the ballot result will be announced tomorrow following today's meeting of the Health Service Group Executive (SGE). I'd hazard a guess the result will appear as latest news on the pensions dispute (

Like any trade unionist who wants to see our movement standing up for our members against the Government, I hope our members have rejected the offer. If that did happen the SGE would then need to decide whether it was possible to join the May 10th strike action (

If the vote were to be to accept a package presented to members as "the best that can be achieved by negotiation" that would pose the question of whether UNISON could, within our Rules, indicate acceptance of the scheme before the equality impact assessment has been carried out (in accordance with Danny Alexander's letter of 8 March to Brendan Barber dealing with all three of the large "unfunded" schemes) - and would pose a different challenge in relation to May 10th.

I hope there's good attendance, and constructive discussion, at today's SGE. Whatever the outome, it is appropriate that the elected lay Committee should consider the result. It is the SGE that has the responsibility, under our Rules and within the policies laid down by the Service Group Conference, to take the decision.

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