Members of UNISON, the UK’s largest union, have today voted by a huge majority in favour of strike action to protect their pensions, with 245,358 in favour and 70,253 against – a margin of 78% to 22%.
The union balloted members including nurses, teaching assistants, social workers, care assistants, paramedics, police staff, school dinner ladies, probation workers and cleaners.
Tories have already started arguing the turnout delegitimises any action that will be taken, but others have been quick to point out only 22% of eligible voters backed the Tories at the last general election.
The ballot result – the first of many – is an overwhelming endorsement of industrial action to defence pensions in response to a government asking ordinary public sector workers to work longer, pay more and receive less at the end of their career.
“Today’s Yes vote signals the green light for the first day of strike action, and we will be joining with other unions in the TUC co-ordinated day of action on November 30th.
“While there was significant movement from the Government yesterday, at this stage we only have a theoretical pension scheme, that has yet to be translated into scheme offers. We have no offer in either the local government or the health pension schemes that we can put to our members.
“What we do have is a overwhelming yes vote in a legal ballot. And our democratic committees have taken the decision to authorise action with the TUC in line with the wishes of our members.
“So it is now up to government ministers and employers‚ to get down to work and come up with firm offers that we can put to our members.”