By Marcus Leach

Unison, one of the UK’s leading unions, has announced the start of the biggest ballot in UK history, in a trade dispute over government ministers’ plans to make detrimental changes to local government and NHS pensions.

Unison have confirmed that over a million public sector workers are to vote on potential strike action in a dispute over local government and NHS pension changes.

If the ballot decides for industrial action then it can be expected to start on November 30th, and could cause major disruption in the UK.

“Today (Monday) I have given the go-ahead for ballot papers to be sent to 1.1 million members, over government ministers’ plans to make detrimental changes to public sector pensions. I am urging Unison members to stand up for their pension rights and vote Yes for strike action, in the biggest ballot in UK history,” Dave Prentis, Unison General Secretary, said.

“All along, we have been hoping for the best, but planning for the worst. And the worst is happening. Eight months of talks have got nowhere — government ministers are just not listening.

“We know our members will not take this decision lightly, they dedicate their entire lives to caring for other people. But they have been pushed too far.

“Government ministers want to save £4bn from public sector pensions. And they want our members to make up that money by paying more and working longer for a pension that will be worth less.

“This is not fair, and it is not necessary. Both the local government and the health scheme our members save into are cash rich and financially sound — they don’t need this drastic change. It is nothing more than a tax on public sector workers to help pay down the country’s deficit that they did nothing to cause.”

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