Northern region trade unions gearing up for Pensions Day of Action

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date: 17 November 2011

embargo: calling note/for immediate release

The Northern Public Services Alliance and Trade Unions across the whole of the northern region will be out in force on Action Saturday, 19th November, building support and giving out vital information about pensions and why the unions involved are taking industrial action, ahead of the national Day of Action on 30th November.

From Northumberland to Tees Valley in the North East and Carlisle to Whitehaven in Cumbria hundreds of trade unionists from the broadest spectrum if public services unions including Unite, Unison, PCS, RMT, GMB, UCU, POA will be taking to streets and town centres to hand out more than 35,000 pensions leaflets and other literature.

The aim of Action Saturday is to dispel the widely held myths and misconceptions around pensions - public sector pensions in particular, and to encourage as many people as possible to show their support and solidarity for all workers who are suffering from the Government's 'Triple Squeeze' on pensions, working longer and harder for less, by joining any of the four regional marches/rallies on November 30th.

Some of the myths dispelled in the Pensions Justice booklet are:

  • Most public sector pensions in payment are less than £5,600 a year (£3,000 in local government). Half of women public service pensioners get less than £4,000 a year.
  • Only 1 in 3 private sector workers is an employer-backed pension scheme.
  • Cutting public sector pensions will not make anyone's pension in the private sector any better.
  • Unions have spent hours in talks over the spring and summer with ministers and their officials, but there has yet to be any real negotiation. Unions are taking action as the only way to start to get ministers to negotiate properly.
  • Despite what the Government says, public sector pensions are affordable.
  • None of the savings that the govt intends to make are going back into low-paid workers pensions, public sector workers are quite simply being made to pay for the deficit - caused by wreckless speculators.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

-There are 4 regional march and rallies happening across the northern region on 30th November: Newcastle/Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Carlisle and Whitehaven. For further information please visit:

http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/tuc-20283-f0.cfm?regional=3

-A calling note with full details of the Day of Action events will follow prior to 30th November.

- Northern TUC press releases www.tuc.org.uk/northern national releases www.tuc.org.uk and www.twitter.com/tucnews

- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

- For TUC advice and information on the world of work www.workSMART.org.uk

Media contacts:

Kevin Rowan, Northern TUC Regional Secretary T: 0191 227 5565; M: 07766250074; E: krowan@tuc.org.uk

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