Friday, 9 December 2011

'Hope for the best but plan for the worst'

"We will hope for the best, but plan for the worst," UNISON's ruling NEC declared today as it assessed the effect of the 30 November pensions strike.

The day of action was "an absolutely fantastic day, the proudest day of my union life," general secretary Dave Prentis told the meeting in London.

And it had a clear effect: already serious negotiations have resumed and will continue into the new year, after ministers withdrew their deadline demanding agreement by the end of this year.

Talks started this week in the main pension schemes - NHS, local government, civil service and teachers' - and are continuing through December and into the new year, and the negotiators are co-ordinating among themselves, while more central negotiations take place with the Treasury and Cabinet Office.

The TUC public service unions will meet on 15 December to assess the day of action and look at the next steps.

But at the same time, the NEC agreed, UNISON needs to build on the momentum of 30 November, keep the union prepared for any further action if necessary, and keep members - especially those who joined in the run-up to the dispute - involved in the campaign.

All the relevant service group executives will meet in early January to be updated on negotiations and plan for any future industrial action.

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