Voting in the Unison union’s ballot on the local government pensions deal begins next Tuesday. Activists are gearing up for a campaign to reject the proposals, which will see workers working longer and getting less.
Around 660,000 Unison members across five service groups will be covered by the ballot. The higher education service group executive alone has come out to recommend workers reject the offer.
The right wing of the union criticised this decision, saying it went against a union consultation. But the executive members were directly elected by union members on platforms spelling out their attitude to the pensions fight.
In the consultation some branches returned just one or two votes each. In some branches there was complete abstention. But if Unison leaders had encouraged members to fight, they could have confidently rejected the offer.
This was why after a lengthy discussion the higher education service group executive voted to recommend rejection.
Meanwhile the GMB union’s ballot on the offer opened on Monday of this week. It is recommending a vote to accept.
Now it’s up to activists and branches to fight across the whole of both unions for a vote to reject the offer.