Unite's reaction to talks between unions and government on pensions

27 June 2011

Reacting to the outcome of talks held today on pensions (Monday 27 June) between unions representing public sector workers and the government, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail, who took part in the talks, said: “In the key areas, there is still a major gap between where the unions and the government stand.

There was a serious risk that the talks could have broken down after Danny Alexander took the decision to try to negotiate through the media. However, we continue to negotiate in good faith but remain convinced that we must make progress on pension contributions, indexation and pension age for our members to find any changes acceptable.

The government still wants our members to pay more and work longer – it refuses to make any compromises.

There has been no movement from the government on pension contribution increases, the link to the rising state pensions and the unions remain at odds with the government over the inflation link change from RPI to CPI.

The government has at least acknowledged that it has not fully understood the funding basis for the local government pension scheme. We welcome that local government unions will now be holding more detailed discussions with the government.

The unions have taken away detailed proposals from the government that we will look at and interrogate. The talks will now continue beyond June and Unite intends to work hard to try to reach a settlement which is acceptable to our members.”

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