Union stages Great Pensions Robbery in Matlock

Pension Protest: Unison members dressed as city bankers protest outside County Hall in Matlock against the proposed cuts to their pensions.
Pension Protest: Unison members dressed as city bankers protest outside County Hall in Matlock against the proposed cuts to their pensions.
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Placard-waving Union members staged a pensions protest in Matlock as a ballot over strike action is planned.

Members dressed as city bankers to stage the “Great Pensions Robbery” outside the offices of Derbyshire County Council’s, County Hall in Smedley Street.

Nearly 100,000 union members in Derbyshire are to be balloted on whether to strike over pension reforms before early November.

Jeanette Lloyd, Unison Derbyshire County Branch secretary, based in Matlock, said: “These plans are not about pensions. The local government scheme is affordable and sustainable.

Instead, every penny of the planned contribution rise will go towards paying for the deficit caused by irresponsible banks. This amounts to a tax on low paid workers.

“We are urging all our members to vote “Yes” in the ballot for industrial action. Public service workers care about their jobs; cleaning streets, caring for elderly and keeping children safe. They know what these services mean to their local community and don’t take the decision to strike lightly. But they have been left with little choice.”

Ballot papers will start dropping through post boxes this week.

Workers say strike action is the last resort for public sector workers.

Mick Wilson, negotiator for Unison and a Derbyshire welfare officer, who was at the Matlock protest, said: “We are going to be working longer and getting less.”

A strike would take place on November 30.

The Government says it needs to save £900 million on the cost of council staff pensions. It wants public-sector workers to contribute more to their pensions from April next year.