Union calls for more action as it rejects final pensions offer

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Leaders of the biggest Civil Service union yesterday confirmed their rejection of the Government’s final offer on public sector pensions and called for fresh industrial action if improvements are not offered.

The executive of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) also warned of legal action if the union is excluded from any future negotiations.

PCS said unions representing around a million workers in the Civil Service, education, local government and health, had either rejected or refused to sign up to the Government’s offer.

Teaching unions have refused to go along with the proposed deal while sections of Unite have rejected it, as well as the PCS.

There had been no movement on the core issues since last November’s strike by up to two million workers, said the PCS executive, which agreed that further co-ordinated action should be organised unless more talks are held.

General secretary Mark Serwotka said: “From the very start ministers have quite obviously tried to suffocate the pensions talks, to bully and mislead, and to impose their will on millions of civil servants, teachers, council staff and health workers.

“We have consistently called for proper negotiations on the key issues of paying more and working longer for less, but the Government has refused at every point, leaving us with no choice but to oppose what is nothing more than a political attempt to make the least culpable pay the highest price for the failings of the banks.

“We have told ministers we expect to be included in any future discussions. But we are clear that, with no significant movement since two million public servants took strike action together on November 30, further co-ordinated industrial action will be necessary to stop these unfair and entirely unnecessary plans.”

Other unions have decided to put the offer to a ballot of members or to continue discussions.