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Plans to consult members on pensions offer move forward

6 January 2012 - 1:56pm

The CSP is firming up plans to consult members on the final proposals on NHS pensions put forward by the government last month.

The society’s industrial relations committee will be taking the decisions on the shape of the membership consultation on 18 January. 

Lesley Mercer, director of employment relations and union services, said: ‘All members will be given an individual say. 

Regional membership meetings

‘In addition, a cross-section of membership meetings, addressed by a CSP officer, will be held in each region and country between 19 January and 1 February.’

An initial CSP briefing on the draft ‘Heads of Agreement’ that emerged from last month’s negotiations was emailed to members on 22 December. The society plans to supplement this with further resources to help members consider the final proposals - and the alternatives.

Meanwhile, the results of additional industrial action ballots for members in Northern Ireland together with a small number of health organisations in England and Scotland were announced yesterday. These members could not be included for technical reasons in the initial ballot or subsequent strike action on 30 November.

Ballot results

In Northern Ireland, members voted decisively by 83% to take strike action, on a 51% turnout. In the five employers in England, the vote went narrowly against strike action on a 46% turnout. In Scotland, where just one member was involved, there was also a yes vote for strike action. 

‘The aim of these additional ballots was to ensure that the members concerned were given the opportunity to take part in any further industrial action that might be called by the society as part of the pensions campaign,’ explained Ms Mercer.

‘In order to preserve the ballot mandates and keep members’ options open while the UK-wide membership consultation on the government’s final proposals takes place, the CSP has written to each of the 11employers concerned to formally request an extension of the legal deadline for triggering the first day of any industrial action.’

Draft agreement

Alex MacKenzie, industrial relations committee chair, said: ‘I want to stress to members that, to date, the society has neither accepted nor rejected the draft agreement on pensions. 

‘What we have done, along with the majority of other health unions, is agree to put the draft agreement to our members as the best that can be achieved through negotiation, following the very strong role played by CSP members on 30 November.’

It will be up to each health union to decide on how best to consult its members on the offer.

For further information see the pensions page on the CSP website, at the link below.

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