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Industrial Relations Committee backs strike ballot over pensions

CSP members working in the NHS will be balloted for the first time in 31 years on whether to take industrial action over the government’s proposed changes to public sector pensions.

The society’s Industrial Relations Committee (IRC) approved the ballot on Thursday and announced that it will get underway at the end of October.

Meetings have been held with members across England, Scotland and Wales to help inform the IRC’s decision.

The committee heard that many members are angry at being asked to pay more for a reduced pension which they would have to work longer to receive.

If CSP members working in the NHS vote in favour of striking, the society will join other health unions in a day of action on November 30.

IRC chair Alex MacKenzie said: ‘This will be the first time in 31 years that members have been balloted, which illustrates the severity of the situation.

‘Our aim remains a negotiated outcome but we feel there is no alternative other than to launch a ballot for strike action.

‘The NHS pension scheme – which was reformed only three years ago – is both affordable now and sustainable in the long-term.

‘It would be deeply unfair to cut the pensions of physiotherapy staff and other NHS workers who already face a pay freeze and increased workloads as health service cuts start to bite.’

CSP members in the NHS are urged to contact their steward to ensure they can participate in the ballot.

More information is available at www.csp.org.uk/pensions or see the Frontline pensions focus on page 18


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