SCORES of Wiltshire’s public sector workers will be taking industrial action today against the unrelenting onslaught on their pensions by the government.
Workers in the NHS, including a small number from the Great Western Hospital, and the Ministry of Defence and government departments – members of Unite, the UK’s largest union – will be joining other union members in nationwide protests which will feature a lunchtime rally at London’s Methodist Central Hall addressed by Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey.
Unite believes that the coalition’s sustained attack on public sector pensions – which have seen the average Unite NHS member paying an extra £30 a month in contributions – is part of a wider attack on the public sector, which includes privatisation of the health service, the introduction of regional pay and the continuing erosion of pay levels.
Unite’s assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail said: “Today’s industrial action will build on the high level of anger that was on display during the November 30 strikes.
“This anger has been increased by the government’s hardline insistence that public sector employees work longer, pay more and receive less when they eventually retire.
“Our members believe that the government is attacking their pensions as a means of helping reduce the budget deficit which has been caused by a greedy City elite that has brought the economy to its knees.
“This is blatantly unfair.
“We call on the coalition to heed the lessons of last week’s local elections and enter into genuine and meaningful talks with the unions.”