UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Pensions Campaign – Stand Firm Vote Yes for Industrial Action!

#Nov30 By voting yes in large numbers we will do three critical things:
· We send a powerful message to government
· We show solidarity with all public sector unions balloting or preparing for industrial action on November 30th
· We give negotiators new strength to support our demands

It is vital that members vote Yes and in large numbers – this will be the first opportunity for us to speak and we must shout loudly and collectively at the government through the ballot result.

Our pensions will not be sacrificed for the banker’s economic crisis!

The government and employers must get the message that UNISON members stand shoulder to shoulder with all other public sector workers and their unions.

If we fail to respond then it will only mean the government will impose their changes and destroy our pensions – and members will quit the schemes.

This will have the effect of increasing costs for the employers and eventually for those that remain in the schemes as the government is forced to make further cuts to public services to pay pensioners.

In simple terms the pension costs will have to be passed on to public sector workers as the income into the schemes dries up as members quit. Leaving the pension scheme now may seem an easy option but it will be self-defeating.

As we are witnessing with the government’s austerity programme, cuts make public finances worse. If enough scheme members leave then the system finances will dry up and will have to be found from elsewhere to pay pensioners.

It is critical then to give our negotiators the power of our industrial action to get the pension contribution increases off of the government’s agenda. Only solidarity within our union and across unions can do this.

As Greece has shown governments faced with crisis only come back for more, giving in now will give the government encouragement to make even more cuts to our benefits in the negotiations.

The threat of a mass public sector strike on November the 30th will give our negotiators more power at the table, a Yes vote will express solidarity across public sector workers that is critical to show.

Our government is weak and will weaken further as the economic crisis intensifies – we can only grow in strength with a successful ballot.

So this is a call to action! We must get out amongst our fellow workers and recruit, talk to members who may not understand what is at stake; spread the message, deliver the result. To fail now is not an option.