More work needed on pension reforms


Negotiations over the Government's controversial public sector pension reforms, which sparked a huge strike last year, have still not been concluded, one of the main unions involved in the dispute said today.

The GMB, which represents council workers, NHS staff and employees in the civil service, said a "lot more work" was needed before the talks ended.

Up to two million workers staged a one day strike last November in protest at the pension changes, and some union leaders have raised the threat of more industrial action, possibly on March 28.

The GMB's executive said in a statement: "The three separate negotiations GMB are involved in - local government, civil service and the NHS - are at a different stage and there is a lot more work to do to bring these negotiations to a conclusion.

"The executive agreed to give full support to the negotiating teams and agreed that GMB members, and no one from outside the GMB, will make the final decisions when the negotiations are concluded and the final proposals are on the table."

Welsh teaching union UCAC said it was launching a consultation with members on the latest pensions offer from the Government, ahead of a meeting of its executive next week.

The union said it had not signed the Government's agreement as it considered the offer to be too detrimental to teachers, lecturers and to the education system itself.

General secretary Elaine Edwards said: "Members' views will be key to deciding on the next steps in this crucial campaign. The Government's proposals will affect the vast majority of teachers in Wales whatever their age.

"That's why I'm encouraging members at all stages of their careers to let us know their opinion within the next week."