Socialist Worker

Health and Civil service workers build opposition to pension attacks

Issue No. 1938

Health workers

HEALTH WORKERS are stepping up their opposition to any worsening of their pension rights, in anticipation of such plans being announced when the consultation process for the NHS scheme ends in April.

Oxfordshire health branch is holding a consultative ballot on strike action against the proposed increased retirement age and end to final salary scheme. Over 100 Oxfordshire health workers attended a meeting with Glyn Jenkins, Unison’s head of pensions last week. The meeting pledged to get as many people on the TUC day of action next Friday, 18 February, as possible — with mental health nurses co-ordinating banners and placards for the day.

The protest at the Labour Party spring conference in Gateshead set for Friday of this week was organised by four Unison health branches in north east England. It has gained support amongst other public sector unions in the area.

Civil service workers

EVERY AREA, no matter how small, can have some kind of protest on the TUC day of action on Friday of next week.

In my office, many people have read the union material and Socialist Worker’s supplement on pensions. They now want to protest on 18 February and strike on 23 March.

I work in a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) office three miles from the centre of Manchester and would find it hard to get many people from my office to the protest there.I have contacted workers in other public sector services nearby.We are going to hold our own rally at a busy crossroads in the locality.

I had already made links with the local health centre when we were on strike against job losses last November.

As a result they invited me in to talk to their union meeting about pensions.

Other workers in the area have been involved in building the Stop the War Coalition and we have a network of anti-war activists we want to get to our protest.

From this, we can use the protest to reach out to even more people and build a solid network of those who want to build resistance against New Labour’s attacks over this issue — and others.
Rob Jackson

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Article information

Sat 12 Feb 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1938
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