From education to employment

Public Service Unions Work through TUC for Benefit of their Members

An old adage states that “two heads are better than one”. This is once again evident in the trade union movement, it seems, as a co ““ operative venture amongst public service unions has seen the formulation of a framework for public services health, pensions and education provision.

This announcement comes in the wake of a report that highlighted some of the troubles that union reps can encounter in the workplace. The report included the different levels of difficulty encountered, depending on the level of the management being dealt with, with some reps stating that they are not being paid for the work that they carry out.

General Secretary Welcomes Moves

The General Secretary of the TUC, Brendan Barber, spoke about the development, saying: “Working together through the TUC, public service unions have today won a major breakthrough. It is being recommended to public service unions for endorsement. Detailed negotiations will now need to take place in each of the sectors covered by the agreement.”

Mr Barber also highlighted importance of co ““ operating with the Government in this, and the improved attitude of the Government towards the staff in the public sector, saying: “The Government has accepted that todays public sector staff should not have their pensions promise broken, and need suffer no detriment in their pensions arrangements. This has met the major union objective.”

The Road Ahead

Turning to the road ahead, he welcomed the Government’s commitments to staff. “On top of this, the Government has given important guarantees for the future,” he said. “All new public pensions schemes will be based on defined benefits, linked to earnings and index linked. All public service workers will continue to be able to retire at 60 – if that is their wish – into the future.”

The next stage for this process is the continuing negotiation within organisations, and a similar commitment to be forthcoming at a local level. For anyone uncertain of their rights in any of the matters above, they can contact the Know Your Rights helpline between 9am and 9pm every day at 0870 600 4 882. To visit the TUC website to find out more, please click here.

Jethro Marsh

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