Second day of strike action suspended

PUBLIC sector union officials have agreed to suspend strike action over a pension dispute after arranging a basis for further talks with employers.Unison announced yesterday that it had advised members that industrial action planned for April 25 should not go ahead and representatives of all service groups agreed the move.

PUBLIC sector union officials have agreed to suspend strike action over a pension dispute after arranging a basis for further talks with employers.

Unison announced yesterday that it had advised members that industrial action planned for April 25 should not go ahead and representatives of all service groups agreed the move.

The decision comes after the organisation's one-day national strike action on March 28 which saw thousands of council workers strike across Suffolk and Essex because of changes to the local government pension scheme.

The choice to suspend strike action follows a TUC deal with the Local Government Association which sees both sides agree to make savings that will ensure the future protection of any pension schemes.

The parties also agreed that there should be early negotiations on a new 'fair look' scheme.

Regional secretary Greg Grant said: “The joint union/LGA statement is a positive step and that is why we have decided to suspend our strike.

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“I believe it provides a satisfactory framework to enable negotiations to take place on the future of the local government pension scheme and on protection arrangements.”

Ann Vinden, Unison's regional head of local government, said: “This is a tremendous outcome for our members many of whom felt strongly enough about the unfairness of the pensions proposals to join picket lines throughout the region on March 28th.”

Unison's is the UK's largest public sector union, representing workers in the NHS, local councils, voluntary groups, Environment Agency, energy and water companies, police support staff and those working in Higher Education.

It has 90,000 members working in the eastern region, which includes Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire. Staff in schools, local authorities, council depots, fire stations, police stations, higher and further education colleges and museums affected by yesterday's decision.

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