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Public sector stage ‘pensions’ protest

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Thousands of public sector workers are due to take part in a day of protests over pensions today.

In 2002 the Government published its Pensions Green Paper which sought to raise retirement ages in the public sector from 60 to 65, and to increase the age at which people could take early retirement from 50 to 55.

The unions say the changes are neither fair nor justified.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) who are co-ordinating the action claim that there has been insufficient consultation and negotiation on changes.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “Cuts in pension provision are the same as a pay cut. The Government’s attempt to raise retirement ages across the seven million who work in the public sector must add up to the biggest ever pensions change.”

Barber says the TUC strongly oppose ‘work ‘til you drop’ policies claiming that in many occupations, working longer is not possible citing air traffic control and north sea fishery protection as examples.

“Pay is often lower in the public sector than in comparable private jobs, and stress levels higher. A reasonable pension has always helped make up for this. Cutting back pension provision will hit morale and staff retention.”

Barber will address public sector workers this afternoon at a rally in London.

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