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Date: 02 March 2012

UNISON protesters lobby Health Minister as Scotland launches further industrial action on pensions

UNISON Scotland will on Monday 5 March launch a further round of industrial action on changed proposed to NHS pensions.

Ayrshire & Arran Health Board will be the first of several Boards in Scotland to receive notice for strike to take place in the week of 12th March. This will involve staff working in the Central Decontamination Unit at Ayrshire Central Hospital.

That facility is on Monday 5 March being officially opened by Cabinet Secretary Nicola Sturgeon. Protesters will make it known that UNISON’s 50,000 members in health expect a Scottish solution to all aspects of pensions changes including the year 1 increases to employee contributions of up to 2.4%.

Mike Kirby, Scottish Secretary of UNISON, said:“Health workers in Scotland will be the major group to face the brunt of contributions increases which even the Scottish Government says are unwanted and unnecessary.

"Scottish Ministers should delay these changes to allow negotiations in NHS Scotland to find alternatives which don’t involve taking money out of Scottish health workers' pockets to give to the Treasury as a windfall tax.”

Tom Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland's Health Committee said:“We had hoped to bring the Scottish Government to the table to negotiate on the pension tax due to start in April 2012.

"It is not too late for further industrial action to be avoided, and for the pension tax increases to be delayed to allow a negotiated settlement.”

ENDS

Notes for editors

1.UNISON will lobby Cabinet Secretary Nicola Sturgeon on Monday 5 March as she offically opens the Central Decontamination Unit and Ayrshire Central Hospital (Ayrshire Central Hospital, Kilwinning Road, Irvine, KA12 8SS)on Monday 5 March at 9.00am.)

2. Selective industrial action involving groups of UNISON members will take place in Ayrshire& Arran, Greater Glasgow and Lothian Health Boards during March 2012. This will include Sterile Services Staff, Procurement and Finance staff, and other groups.

For further information please contact:

Tom Waterson, Chair of UNISON Scotland Health Committee - 07753 627 575

Mike Kirby, Scottish Secretary - 07939 143 355

Willie Duffy, Regional Organiser - 07904 342 129

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