Closure of NHS Scotland pension group ‘a failure of politics’

16 Jan

Unite Scotland members in the NHS have hit out at both the Scottish and Westminster Governments after announcing the closure of a key pensions negotiations body.

The NHS Pensions Working Group of the NHS Scotland Terms & Conditions Committee (STAC) had been in discussions with the Scottish Government in an effort to offset the impact of the Coalition Government’s pension’s cuts across the NHS in Scotland.

However, Unite representatives closed the working group earlier this week after the Scottish Government informed workers they could do nothing to counter constraints placed on them by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

Unite Regional Industrial Officer Gordon Casey said, “It would seem the Scottish Government were content to play politics with people’s pensions while the Westminster Government are determined to wreak havoc with them. 

As it stands NHS workers in Scotland will now suffer the same attacks on their pensions as colleagues in the rest of the UK – pay more, work longer and get less.

Unite refuses to accept Danny Alexander’s cuts agenda but we believed the Scottish Government had an opportunity to defend these pensions in the face of the Coalition’s austerity measures and we still do.

The NHS pension scheme currently generates £2 billion a year more in contributions than it pays out in benefits and Unite has refused to sign-up to the Westminster Coalition Government’s NHS pension reform agenda.

ENDS

 Notes to Editors: For further information please contact Unite Regional Industrial Officer Gordon Casey on 07798531021 or Peter Welsh in the Unite Scotland Communications Unit on 07810157931.

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