GMB Central Executive Council to Ballot NHS Members With the NHS Pensions Final Offer

10 Jan 2012

The GMB’s NHS national negotiating bodies have advised the GMB’s CEC to ballot members on the NHS pension scheme’s final offer.

The committees at meetings in London have asked the national negotiators to continue with talks to enable the CEC to put final position to the membership by way of a ballot.
The GMB advisory bodies covering members employed in NHS Ambulance Services and in Nursing and the NHS Committee covering other staff such as ancillary and support workers met this week to discuss the government’s pensions proposals for NHS staff made in December 2011. The advisory bodies are advising the GMB Central Executive Council (CEC) which meets on 14 February 2012 as follows:
“The GMB NHS advisory bodies are extremely disappointed that despite lengthy negotiations over 9 months on the future of the NHS Pension Scheme that significant movements have not been made. Particularly disappointing was the fact that the impact of working longer could have been mitigated within the cost envelope the Government imposed in these negotiations, but senior Government officials deemed this unworkable.
The GMB advisory bodies are resolved to achieve the best pension reforms for GMB members in the NHS. It is on this basis the GMB advisory bodies are advising the Central Executive Council to put the Government’s offer to GMB members in the NHS once the final offer has been negotiated.”
Rehana Azam GMB NHS National Officer said “GMB will remain in the talks until the offer is finalised but continue to challenge the Government to move on the principles of the offer on working longer, paying more and getting less. GMB members in the NHS will always reserve their right to take industrial action to protect their dignity in work and in retirement. The GMB NHS advisory bodies have advised the CEC to put the Government’s offer to all of its NHS membership so that members can decide the next course of action. “
Mick Coppin, chair of the NHS Committee covering ancillary and support staff, said: “Our members mandated us to challenge the Government’s continuous attack on NHS staff terms & conditions. Our members told us that working longer and paying more to get less pensions was the final straw. They overwhelmingly voted to take industrial action to bring the government back to the negotiating table. Today we have unanimously agreed to continue to challenge government on this issue through further continued negotiations and have advised the CEC to ballot our members with the final offer, and we will be driven by their decisions”.
Steve Rice, the chair of the GMB Ambulance Committee said: “The GMB National Ambulance Committee agreed that although they felt the proposals didn’t go far enough the committee recognised that being a member led union, it would be for the membership to decide. And therefore the committee have asked the national negotiators to continue with talks to enable the CEC to put final position to the membership by way of ballot.”
Martin Jackson CDNA Committee member said “We are delighted that the advisory bodies today have advised the CEC to ballot our members regarding NHS pensions proposal. However it is disappointing that our members will still be expected to work longer, pay more, and receive less”.