Strikes set to disrupt both Council and Hospital

Harrogate Hospital

Next Wednesday (30th November) at least 20 Trade Unions will be taking industrial action in response to the Governments proposals to make employees in the public sector pay more, work longer and receive less in relation to their pension.



A spokesperson for Unison at Harrogate Hospital said:

Most public sector workers are modestly paid. Their pay has been frozen while the price of basics is shooting up. Now they are expected to pay an extra £3 billion a year for much worse pensions.

It’s wrong to make public sector workers pay an unfair contribution to reducing a deficit they did nothing to cause.

In relation to employees who work for Harrogate Healthcare and are members of the NHS Pension Scheme there are other relevant facts such as the Treasury getting £2bn more in NHS pension contributions than it pays out in benefits. The average NHS pension is £7,000 per annum and half of NHS women pensioners receive less than £3,500 per annum.

 

A spokesperson for Unison at Harrogate Borough Council said:

Most public sector workers are modestly paid. Their pay has been frozen while the price of basics is shooting up. Now they are expected to pay an extra £3 billion a year for much worse pensions.

This, whilst the country’s highest earners get tax breaks worth £10 billion every year on their pensions contributions and the average pension for bosses of Britain’s largest companies is 34 times bigger than the average public sector pension. It also comes at a time when the government has cancelled the banker’s bonus tax that raised almost the same as the £3 billion they are looking for from pensions.

It’s wrong to make public sector workers pay an unfair contribution to reducing a deficit they did nothing to cause.



Despite hours of talks, ministers have yet to seriously negotiate. On 2 November a statement was made in Parliament about public sector pensions, setting out a ‘preferred design’ for the future of public sector pension. This design entails a number of changes to previous proposals for public sector pension schemes. However, crucially, this was only a statement of principle and not an offer for individual pension schemes. It is important to separate the facts from the fiction so that it is understood why industrial action is proceeding.

In relation to employees who work for Harrogate Borough Council and are members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) there are other relevant facts such as the average Local Government pension being only £4,000 per annum (hardly gold plated). The scheme is funded and fully sustainable – if closed today it could still pay all its liabilities for 20 years.

The extent of the strike action and the impact of the action on the day can not be determined.

 


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