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NHS pension reform to go ahead

9 July, 2012
Stop Go Signs

In a letter to the Chair of the NHS Staff Council, health secretary Andrew Lansley has said that he will go ahead with public sector pension reform.

The health secretary says in the letter to Christina McAnea: “All trade unions have now completed consulting their membership. It is clear that the majority of NHS staff have not rejected the proposals.

“I am now writing to advise you that I intend to move forward to implement the new scheme design and the other measures set out in the 9 March document in their entirety for the NHS.”

Mr Lansley also mentions the resistance from the British Medical Association and Unite: “It is a matter of regret that two unions are still engaging in industrial action,” he writes.

"It is difficult to see how these unions can participate in partnership working implementing the new scheme whilst they are going down the route of confrontation.”
He continues by acknowledging that “there is much important work to do,” stating: “We need to discuss contribution rate increases in years two and three and how this will feed through in tiered contribution rates.”

Another issue is the increase in normal pension age: “I recognise trade unions are particularly concerned about the increase.

“The implications of this will be considered in the Review of Working Longer and the government has also committed to keep the link under review as recommended by Lord Hutton.”

The NHS Trades Unions met on 27 & 28 June and agreed that: “We would acknowledge receipt of the letter from Andrew Lansley; we noted the Governments intention to implement the final proposals of 9 March; and that the NHS Trades Unions would continue to discuss all outstanding issues through the Governance Group.”

At a meeting of the NHS Staff Council on the 28th June, the above statement was then communicated to NHS Employers and the Department of Health.

Paul Bromley, SoR representative on the Governance Group added: “work on all the outstanding issues would continue in earnest.”

A ministerial statement has also been written to the House of Commons by the chief secretary to  the Treasury, Danny Alexander. A copy of this statement along with Andrew Lansley’s letter are below.

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