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2012 Health Care Service Group Conference
11 April 2012

Conference notes the final offer on the NHS Pension Scheme for England and Wales was published on 9 March 2012. UNISON members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are currently being balloted on the offer with full information on what it will mean for them and the consequences of rejection.

Conference deplores the decision of Ministers in Westminster to continue to link pension age to state retirement age and believes this could have serious consequences for staff and patient care.

Conference congratulates all those who took part in the strike across the public sector on 30th November 2011. UNISON had an amazing turnout on the day and this resulted in some significant improvements to the offer in health, in particular, the move to 1/54th accrual rate, a better Fair Deal offer and two tri-partite reviews, one on extending access to the NHS scheme to other providers, and one on the impact of working longer in the NHS. Details of these reviews were included in the final offer on 9th March. Conference also congratulates UNISON Scotland members who took part in further industrial action resulting in negotiations being opened with the Scottish Government on the future NHS Scotland Pension Scheme.

The ballot in England Wales and Northern Ireland is running from 11 – 27 April and conference calls on the SGE to ensure it acts on the outcome of the ballot as possible after this is known.

Whatever the members decide conference also calls on the SGE to:

i)Continue to highlight the main issues arising from working longer in the NHS and ensure the views of a wide range of occupational groups are fed into the Tripartite Review which is due to report in 12 months;

ii. Work with other groups within UNISON and across the union movement to campaign against increases to state retirement age which will then link to pension age in employment;

iii. Continue to campaign against increased pension contributions